Heptares Therapeutics, a U.K.-based clinical-stage company, and AstraZeneca have entered into a licensing agreement under which AstraZeneca will acquire exclusive global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize the adenosine A2A receptor antagonist, HTL-1071, a small molecule immuno-oncology candidate, and potential additional A2A receptor-blocking compounds. AstraZeneca will focus on exploring HTL-1071 and any additional compounds across a range of cancers, including in combination with its existing portfolio of immunotherapies.
Heptares will receive an upfront payment of $10 million and is eligible to receive additional, significant near-term milestone payments based on agreed preclinical and/or clinical events. Subject to successful completion of development and commercialization milestones, Heptares also is eligible to receive more than $500 million, as well as up to double-digit tiered royalties on net sales.
Chief Executive Officer of Heptares Malcolm Weir said, “The A2A receptor program at Heptares has been an outstanding example of our Structure Based Drug Design approach in action, resulting in a novel clinical candidate, HTL-1071, with a highly attractive profile. Heptares is targeting G-protein-coupled receptors that play a key role in cancer biology through the identification of both antibody and small molecule therapeutics. This agreement further builds on our successful, existing research collaboration.”