Company adds antiviral candidates, including an anti-HCV product in Phase I and an anti-RSV compound in Phase II.

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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