As AstraZeneca continues to try to ramp up its cancer pipeline, it has hired Proteros biostructures to jointly discover and develop new small molecules for an array of oncology assets.
The collab, full financials of which were not made public, brings together Proteros’ discovery capabilities with AstraZeneca’s work in target biology and medicinal chemistry to seek out new compounds for AstraZeneca to work with and, it hopes, eventually to sell.
The deal sees AstraZeneca stump up research funding while Proteros is in line with success-based biobucks, worth up to €62 million, plus royalties on any sales.
“We believe that advances in epigenomic capabilities will bring forward the next wave of innovation in cancer development through the discovery and development of novel small molecules,” said Susan Galbraith, senior vice president and head of research and early development, oncology R&D, AstraZeneca.
“Proteros’ proprietary discovery platform enables us to screen epigenetic targets in a physiologically relevant setting, supporting accelerated discovery and development of the next wave of anti-cancer medicines.”
Proteros is no stranger to these types of deals, having penned pacts with multiple biopharmas over the years, including more recently with Arbutus and X-Chem, where the triumvirate are working on a pan-coronavirus discovery deal.
“We are delighted AstraZeneca has selected Proteros to act as their discovery engine for a number of novel and very relevant oncology targets,” added Torsten Neuefeind, Ph.D., Proteros’ CEO. “These types of targets pose a number of challenges that Proteros’ discovery platform is uniquely positioned to overcome.”