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3 October 2016Americas

Amgen and Arrowhead agree RNAi development deal

Biopharmaceutical company Amgen and drug manufacturer Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals have entered into two agreements to develop and commercialise RNA interference (RNAi) therapies for cardiovascular disease.

RNAi molecules are designed to target and shut down specific gene products that contribute to various diseases.

These are the first programmes to use Arrowhead's platform for delivering subcutaneous RNAi, according to the companies in a statement released on September 29.

Amgen will receive a worldwide, exclusive licence to Arrowhead’s RNAi ARC-LPA programme, which deals with molecules related to cardiovascular disease.

As part of the second agreement, Amgen will receive an option to have a worldwide, exclusive licence for RNAi therapy for an undisclosed genetically validated cardiovascular target.

In both agreements, Amgen will be wholly responsible for clinical development and commercialisation.

Arrowhead will receive a $35 million upfront payment, $21.5 million in the form of an equity investment, and up to $617 million in option payments and development, regulatory and sales milestone payments.

Sean Harper, executive vice president of research and development at Amgen, said: “Arrowhead's expertise in RNAi makes them a valuable partner as we translate genetic discoveries into potential therapies that can improve health outcomes for patients.”

Christopher Anzalone, president and CEO at Arrowhead, added: “We have made great advances to our proprietary subcutaneous RNAi delivery vehicle and in RNAi trigger modification and stabilisation that enable rapid development of new RNAi therapeutics across multiple disease areas.”

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