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Feb 1, 2007

AstraZeneca Pays $150M for Arrow Therapeutics to Enhance Anti-Infective Pipeline

  • AstraZeneca is strengthening its anti-infective portfolio through a $150-million acquisition of Arrow Therapeutics. "Arrow Therapeutics is an excellent opportunity to acquire a world-class antiviral capability to add to our own anti-bacterial research capabilities and promising early-stage compounds," remarks John Patterson, executive director, development, AstraZeneca.

    Arrow Therapeutics’ antiviral pipeline includes several different approaches toward hepatitis C virus (HCV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). It’s most advanced candidate is in Phase II. RSV604, partnered with Novartis, is a first-in-class, small molecule, oral anti-RSV compound. The company also has two anti-HCV compounds that both target the NS5a protein, including one in Phase I.

    AstraZeneca expects to close this transaction early in 2007. It plans for Arrow Therapeutics to become a hub for anti-viral discovery activities remaining at its present central London site that has 57 employees.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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