29 August 2017Asia

AstraZeneca and Takeda enter agreement to develop Parkinson’s disease drug

AstraZeneca and Takeda have entered into an agreement to develop and commercialise MEDI1341, an alpha-synuclein antibody currently in development as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Alpha-synuclein is an aggregation-prone protein that contributes to the development of PD, according to a statement.

The protein is the major part of Lewy bodies, which are pathological protein aggregates that congregate in the nerve cells of patients with PD and appear to spread throughout the nervous system during the progression of the disease, it added.

These insights “support the development of new PD medicines that seek to remove existing pathological alpha-synuclein aggregates, prevent their formation, or stop them from spreading”.

MEDI1341 is an antibody which could accomplish a better efficacy and safety profile compared to other alpha-synuclein antibodies, the companies said.

MEDI1341 is to start phase I clinical trials later this year, under the leadership of AstraZeneca. Takeda will lead future clinical development activities. Both companies will share future development and commercialisation costs.

Mene Pangalos, executive vice president at AstraZeneca’s innovative medicines and early development biotech unit, said that by working with Takeda and sharing the costs of development and commercialisation, they hope to accelerate the advancement of MEDI1341.

He added: “Today there are no medicines that can slow or halt the degenerative progress of PD, so this remains a large area of unmet medical need. Takeda has an excellent track record in neuroscience research and we are excited to be working together.”

Emiliangelo Ratti, head of Takeda’s CNS therapeutic area unit, said: “Despite modest advancements in maintenance therapies, PD continues to represent a devastating diagnosis and a burdensome challenge for therapeutic discovery.

“Our collaboration with AstraZeneca is a sophisticated one that will enable us to efficiently advance a validated target in a new modality, with the aim of improving the lives of patients.”

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