The Life Sciences team advised Moderna on a new license and collaboration with AstraZeneca to co-develop and co-commercialize a messenger RNA therapeutic encoding for Relaxin. The companies will advance the new Relaxin development candidate, AZD7970, toward the clinic as an investigational treatment for heart failure.
This marks the second strategic agreement between Moderna and AstraZeneca to advance mRNA therapeutics in the cardiometabolic space. In 2013, both companies entered into a strategic agreement to advance AZD8601, a localized mRNA therapeutic that encodes for vascular endothelial growth factor. AZD8601 has successfully completed Phase 1 study, and AstraZeneca has submitted a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) in Europe to initiate a Phase 2a study of AZD8601 in heart failure patients undergoing cardiac bypass grafting (CABG) surgery.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Moderna will fund and be responsible for preclinical development of AZD7970, including the conduct of good laboratory practice toxicology studies. AstraZeneca will be responsible for early clinical development of AZD7970, and Moderna and AstraZeneca will share the costs of late-stage clinical development. Both companies will co-commercialize AZD7970 in the U.S. under a 50:50 profit sharing arrangement. AstraZeneca will lead ex-U.S. commercialization efforts, with Moderna receiving tiered royalties up to substantial double digits on ex-U.S. sales.
Moderna is a clinical stage pioneer of messenger RNA therapeutics and vaccines, an entirely new drug technology that directs the body’s cells to produce intracellular or secreted proteins.
For additional details on the collaboration, please read the press release.