Licensing agreement signed for C4XD between C4X Discovery and AstraZeneca

shutterstock respiratory disease

C4X Discovery Holdings plc has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with AstraZeneca. It is worth up to $402 million, for its NRF2 Activator program.  AstraZeneca will develop and commercialize an oral therapy, C4XD. This is for the treatment of inflammatory and respiratory diseases with a lead focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

C4X Discovery will receive pre-clinical milestone payments worth up to $16 million ahead of the first clinical trial. This includes $2 million upfront under the terms of the agreement.  In addition, C4XD is eligible to receive a further potential $385.8 million in clinical development and commercial milestones. It will receive tiered mid-single digit royalties upon commercialization.

Mene Pangalos, executive vice president, biopharmaceuticals research and development, AstraZeneca said: “We are committed to transforming care in respiratory and immune-mediated disease and move beyond symptom control. Our alliance with C4XD adds an important new asset to our portfolio to push the boundaries of science by targeting underlying disease drivers to potentially modify the course of these diseases.” 

C4XD – important new asset

In its research, AstraZeneca found that inflammation is a key driver in many pathological conditions including respiratory diseases.  NRF2 is an important natural regulator, controlling the expression of antioxidant genes. It plays a key role in cellular defense against external insults, as well as the regulation of the inflammatory response.  

Targeting the NRF2 pathway to reduce inflammatory damage offers the potential for a new approach to treat inflammatory diseases such as COPD. Activation of NRF2 may help in reducing the negative effects of the oxidative stress-induced progression of the disease. Lead molecules from C4XD’s oral NRF2 Activator program significantly activate NRF2 following oral dosing, providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. 

Life-changing treatments

Clive Dix, CEO of C4XD, added: “Drug discovery is inherently scientifically complex. It is through our unique expertise and proprietary cutting-edge technologies that C4XD is proving itself as an exemplar in this field.  NRF2 is thought to be a critical but challenging anti-inflammatory target. I am proud of the work by our team to achieve a broad stable of intellectual property for this program, leading to our third significant deal with a truly world-renowned industry leader.  

“The COPD market alone is worth close to $20 billion and rising. But, more importantly, I know that in AstraZeneca’s hands, with their scientific, technical and commercial expertise, our NRF2 Activator program has the potential to deliver life changing treatments for the millions of patients suffering with COPD across the world.”  

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