Cheshire drug company agrees £13m deal with AstraZeneca

Redx Pharma has agreed a $17m (£13m) deal with AstraZeneca that will see the pharmaceutical giant further develop and commercialise a discovery that could aid sufferers of fibrotic diseases.

The Cheshire-based drug development company could receive a further $360m (£280m) in milestone payments from the global licensing deal.

It would also be eligible for tiered royalties of “mid-single digit percentages” for any future net sales.

Redx Pharma chief executive Lisa Anson said the agreement highlighted the company’s “ability to generate molecules that have significant potential as novel medicines”.

She added: “We are excited by the potential of porcupine inhibition as a novel approach to tackling fibrotic-associated diseases where there is a real patient need.”

Fibrosis is an internal scarring process that impairs the function of an organ or tissue. It contributes to 45% of deaths in the developed world.

Redx’s research aims to stop and reverse the formation of fibrotic tissue and it has four main areas of focus, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The AstraZeneca deal is to license a porcupine inhibitor for IPF, known as RXC006.

Porcupine is a novel drug target that addresses IPF, a debilitating disease of the lungs which progressively causes scarring and a reduction in lung function. Sufferers have a life expectancy of 3-5 years.

Mene Pangalos, executive vice president, biopharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, added: “Fibrotic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis have significant impact on patients’ lives and new therapies are urgently needed. We look forward to progressing this porcupine inhibitor into clinical trials.”