Ethris, AstraZeneca to develop mRNA therapies for respiratory diseases
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Ethris, a leader in mRNA-based therapeutics with specific expertise in pulmonary disease, announced a five-year strategic research collaboration with AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune. The collaboration is focused on developing new stabilized non-immunogenic modified RNA therapies for respiratory diseases using Ethris’ proprietary SNIM RNA technology.
Ethris will receive €25 million upfront plus research funding and is eligible for future research and development milestones, including sales related royalties upon commercialization. AstraZeneca and MedImmune will have the option to take exclusive worldwide licenses upon completion of the research plan for each target within the collaboration.
mRNA therapies deliver genetic instructions to cells which drive the target cells to produce selected proteins to help prevent or fight diseases. Ethris’ proprietary mRNA technology can be targeted to the lungs where it helps to replace, inhibit or augment proteins that are involved in causing or exacerbating respiratory disease. mRNA-based therapeutics may also provide new opportunities to modify the course of the disease or its symptoms.
Ethris will utilize its proprietary SNIM®RNA technology exclusively with AstraZeneca through the company’s MedImmune and Innovative Medicines (IMED) biotech units to develop multiple new targets for investigation in the diseases of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Dr. Carsten Rudolph, President and CEO of Ethris, said: “This collaboration validates Ethris’ leading position in development and delivery of mRNA therapies for the treatment of pulmonary diseases. This collaboration pairs our proprietary technology with the world-class expertise of AstraZeneca and MedImmune in respiratory diseases, biologics development and commercialization, and positions us to bring forward new options for patients.”
Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, MedImmune, added: “Rapid advances over the last decade have made mRNA a very promising tool for clinical application, and we are excited to collaborate with Ethris, whose advanced platform is leading in RNA delivery to the lung. This collaboration complements our respiratory science focused on early intervention and disease modification by adding novel ways to target disease mechanisms that cannot be addressed by other approaches currently in our pipeline.”