UK drug discovery and development company, Redx Pharma, has signed a significant out-licensing agreement for its porcupine inhibitor, RXC006, with AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca will take RXC006 forward into clinical development, targeting fibrotic diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
Porcupine inhibition is a novel anti-fibrotic approach that suppresses Wnt ligand secretion from pro-fibrotic cells.
Wnt ligands are known to be strong drivers of fibrotic mechanisms and are highly expressed in diseases such as IPF. They regulate multiple aspects of disease biology so porcupine inhibition presents a potentially powerful anti-fibrotic approach.
IPF is a life-threatening and progressive lung disease with a high mortality rate and a prognosis worse than many cancers.
Under the terms of the exclusive global agreement, AstraZeneca will pay Redx several early milestones that amount to $17 million, by the time of successful commencement of a phase 1 study.
In addition, Redx is eligible to receive up to a further $360 million from AstraZeneca in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments throughout the course of the programme should it successfully reach these milestones.
Redx is also eligible for tiered royalties of mid-single digit percentages, based on any future net sales.