AstraZeneca has acquired a portfolio of neuroscience assets from Link Medicine, which focuses on the field of autophagy, an intracellular process that clears and recycles misfolded proteins, for developing potential new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. AZ will make an upfront and milestone payments and will assume all R&D activities. The financial terms were not disclosed.
AZ acquired multiple small molecule assets in clinical and preclinical stage that target the enzyme farnesyltransferase and modulate autophagy. Autophagy can be applied to a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, which are characterized by a build-up of incorrectly folded, aggregated and ultimately neurotoxic proteins.
John F. Dee, president and chief executive officer of Link Medicine, said, “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with AstraZeneca, who have a strong heritage in neuroscience research and development. We are confident their scientists will accelerate the development of this truly novel program that has broad applications in neurodegenerative diseases.”
Dr. Menelas Pangalos, AZ’s executive vice president of Innovative Medicines, said, “AstraZeneca is committed to neuroscience drug discovery and development, and is always looking for new ways to share cost, risk and reward with other research partners. This agreement provides us with an entry into an exciting and vital piece of research into autophagy.”