Brodalumab is the most advanced candidate, poised for Phase III psoriasis trials.

AstraZeneca is paying Amgen $50 million in a deal to jointly develop and commercialize five mAbs from Amgen’s clinical inflammation pipeline. The deal covers AMG 139, AMG 157, AMG 181, AMG 557, and brodalumab (AMG 827).

The companies will share both costs and profits. Based on current plans, approximately 65% percent of costs for the 2012–2014 period will be funded by AstraZeneca. Thereafter, the companies will split costs equally. Amgen will book sales globally and will retain a low single-digit royalty for brodalumab and a mid single-digit royalty for the rest of the portfolio, after which the companies will share profits equally. The agreement does not include certain territories previously partnered by Amgen for brodalumab with Kyowa Hakko Kirin and AMG 557 with Takeda.

The collaboration will provide Amgen with additional resources to optimally progress its candidates, and Amgen will benefit from the strong respiratory, inflammation, and asthma development expertise of MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s biologics arm. The collaboration will also capitalize on AstraZeneca’s global commercial reach in respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases.

AstraZeneca will lead the development and commercial strategy of AMG 139, AMG 157, and AMG 181, while Amgen will lead the development and commercial strategy of brodalumab and AMG 557. Each development and commercialization lead will be under the oversight of joint governing bodies.

For brodalumab, commercial promotion will be split. Amgen will promote in dermatology indications in the U.S. and Canada and in rheumatology indications in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. AstraZeneca will promote in respiratory and, initially, in dermatology indications of brodalumab across all territories outside the U.S., Canada, and those markets where Amgen has existing partnerships. Allocation of promotional rights for other territories, indications, and molecules will be agreed upon later between the companies.

Brodalumab binds to and blocks signaling via the IL-17 receptor. It is being investigated for psoriasis (completed Phase II), psoriatic arthritis (Phase II), and asthma (Phase II). AMG 139 is being investigated in Phase Ib for Crohn disease. AMG 181 is being tested in Phase Ia and Phase Ib for ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease. AMG 557 binds to B7-related protein 1 (B7RP-1) and is in Phase Ib for autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus. AMG 157 blocks interaction of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) with the TSLP receptor and is being investigated in Phase Ib for asthma.

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