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Business & Regulation COVID-19, Drug Discovery


AstraZeneca has struck a deal with VaxEquity to use the Imperial College London spinout biotech’s self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) platform. The agreement marks AstraZeneca’s first major RNA deal and will allow the company to work on the development of advanced therapies with greater potency levels than current mRNA therapeutics.

saRNA is known to support longer-lasting protein expression than conventional RNA. It also offers the opportunity for lower dosing and cost savings across a wide range of applications – significant advantages for both patients and companies.

As part of the agreement, AstraZeneca will develop up to 26 drug targets using the platform, and VaxEquity will receive up to US$195 million in milestone payments. “This collaboration adds a promising new platform to our drug discovery toolbox. Once optimized, the platform will allow us to target novel pathways not amenable to traditional drug discovery across our therapy areas of interest,” said Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, at AstraZeneca.

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About the Author
Angus Stewart

Associate Editor of The Medicine Maker

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