Horizon Discovery and AstraZeneca have entered into an exclusive collaboration and license agreement to explore Horizon’s kinase target program, HD-001, for the development of novel therapies for multiple cancers. Horizon will receive upfront and preclinical milestone payments and is eligible for clinical and approval milestones totaling as much as $75 million, as well as royalties.
The HD-001 program, currently in the early stages of drug discovery, has the potential to target a range of cancer types. The target has also been shown to play a key role in K-Ras mutant tumors. K-Ras is mutated in 40% of all cancer types causing resistance to available targeted therapeutics.
Dr. Chris Torrance, chief scientific officer and leader of the HD-001 program at Horizon, said, “Targeting cancer cells harboring mutant K-Ras has been a perennial issue for the drug discovery community, with few canonical pathway or ‘gene-addiction’ targets showing a clear benefit on this important cancer gene. We are excited to partner with Astra Zeneca on the development of HD-001, as they have shown a firm commitment to the identification of novel K-Ras targets.”
Susan Galbraith, head of the Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit at AstraZeneca, said, “Horizon’s novel kinase target program coupled with their target validation technology allows us to broaden our oncology research efforts beyond our own internal capabilities. AstraZeneca has a proven track record of collaborating on early stage discovery projects with innovative organizations like Horizon, partnering their cutting-edge science with our strong oncology expertise to bring new medicines to cancer patients.”