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GEN News Highlights : Mar 11, 2009

AstraZeneca to Continue Collaboration with Dynavax until July 2010

Extension includes research funding on a third drug candidate.

AstraZeneca is extending its alliance with Dynavax until July 2010 and will provide funding for research on a third drug candidate. The deal inked in September 2006 covers TLR-9 agonist-based therapies for the treatment of asthma and COPD.

AstraZeneca paid $10 million up front and committed to $27 million in research funding and preclinical milestones. The total value of the deal is $136 million. AstraZeneca has commercialization rights, and Dynavax retains the option to co-promote in the U.S.

The partnership has resulted in one candidate, AZD1419, expected to enter Phase I in the second half of 2009. The nomination of this compound triggered a $4.5 million payment. The companies report that they are already working on a second molecule.

AZD1419 utilizes Dynavax’ immunostimulatory sequences technology and is designed to change the basic immune response to environmental allergens leading to a prolonged reduction in asthma symptoms.