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AstraZeneca Acquires Probiodrug’s CDK9 Inhibitor Program

By Kristin Brooks | January 3, 2014

Lead molecule and back-up compounds offer potential in cancer/inflammatory diseases

Probiodrug AG has transferred its experimental cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) inhibitor program to AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca has also purchased a lead molecule and back-up compounds along with the associated intellectual property. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CDK9 has been tied to the regulation of genes involved in proliferation and inflammation, and has been shown to be a promising target for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are regulators of cell cycle progression and RNA transcription. Various genetic events cause overactivity of the cell cycle CDKs in cancer.

“AstraZeneca is an excellent party to take over our promising CDK9 inhibitor program,” said Hendrik Liebers, chief financial officer of Probiodrug. “This transaction is consistent with our strategy to focus our resources exclusively on Alzheimer’s disease.”
Susan Galbraith, vice president and head of the Oncology iMed unit at AstraZeneca, said, “We are particularly interested in the development of targeted therapies for oncology, such as CDK9. We believe that Probiodrug’s CDK9 inhibitor program, while early stage, shows potential and we look forward to continuing its development.”

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