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Heptares trigers milestone payment from AstraZeneca

Sosei Group Corporation’s subsidiary Heptares Therapeutics got milestone payment from AstraZeneca for working together on an immuno-oncology project.

The Heptares’s collaboration with AstraZeneca focuses on the development of AZD4635 (HTL-1071) as a potential new treatment for a range of cancers. As a result, Heptares said Wednesday that a certain achievement has triggered a $12 million payment.

AZD4635 is a potent and selective, orally available, small molecule adenosine A2A receptor antagonist discovered by Heptares and licensed to AstraZeneca in 2015.

The milestone was triggered by the successful completion of a preclinical programme that demonstrated a clear effect of AZD4635 in reversing adenosine-mediated T-cell suppression and enhancing anti-tumour immunity.

AZD4635 is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial as a single agent and in combination with AstraZeneca’s durvalumab (anti-PD-1L antibody) in patients with solid malignancies.

“The preclinical study results are very exciting and confirm that inhibition of A2A signalling offers an attractive mechanism to treat cancers by preventing tumours from evading the immune system and making them susceptible to checkpoint inhibitors,” said Fiona Marshall, CSO of Heptares and Sosei. “We now look forward to the results from the first clinical study with AZD4635 around the end of the year.”

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