AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly and Company announced an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize AZD3293, an oral beta secretase cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor currently in development as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will pay AstraZeneca up to $500 million in development and regulatory milestone payments, according to a recent press release. AstraZeneca expects to receive the first milestone payment of $50 million in the first half of 2015. The companies will share all future costs equally for the development and commercialisation of AZD3293, as well as net global revenues post-launch.
AstraZeneca and Lilly aim to progress AZD3293 rapidly into a Phase II/III clinical trial in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease. Lilly will lead clinical development, working with researchers from AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines Unit for neuroscience, while AstraZeneca will be responsible for manufacturing. The companies will take joint responsibility for commercialisation of AZD3293.
Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, Innovative Medicines & Early Development at AstraZeneca, said: “Alzheimer’s disease is one of the biggest challenges facing medical science today and BACE inhibitors have the potential to target one of the key drivers of disease progression. We are looking forward to working with Lilly, an organisation with a long term commitment to and expertise in treating Alzheimer’s disease. We believe that, by combining the scientific expertise from our two organisations and by sharing the risks and cost of late stage development, we will be able to accelerate the advancement of AZD3293 and progress a promising new approach to support the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients around the world."