AstraZeneca in RNA Therapy Pact

AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, have entered into a five-year research collaboration with Ethris, a Planegg, Germany-headquartered mRNA-based therapeutics company with a focus on pulmonary disease.

The collaboration is focused on developing new stabilized non-immunogenic modified RNA therapies for respiratory diseases using Ethris’ proprietary SNIM RNA technology, a nucleic-acid therapy platform based on stabilized non-immunogenic mRNA.

mRNA therapies deliver genetic instructions to cells to drive the target cells to produce selected proteins to help prevent or fight diseases. Ethris’ SNIM RNA technology can be targeted to the lungs where it helps to replace, inhibit, or augment proteins that are involved in causing or exacerbating respiratory disease, according to Ethris.

Ethris will receive EUR 25 million ($29.5 million) upfront plus research funding and is eligible for future research and development milestones, including sales-related royalties upon commercialization. AstraZeneca and MedImmune will have the option to take exclusive worldwide licenses upon completion of the research plan for each target within the collaboration.

The companies plan to develop new targets for investigation in the diseases of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Source: Ethris

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