AstraZeneca PLC's Swedish unit granted Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co. Ltd. exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize its experimental neurological disorder therapy AZD3241.
U.K.-based AstraZeneca has progressed through the phase 2 trial of the drug AZD3241 to treat multiple system atrophy, or MSA — a rare, rapidly progressive and fatal neurogenerative disease with no cure or effective treatments.
AZD3241 is an inhibitor of the enzyme myeloperoxidase, which is a key driver of oxidative and inflammatory processes and is significantly increased in a range of brain disorders. New Haven, Conn.-based Biohaven said inhibiting myeloperoxidase activity may be a therapeutic strategy for neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions, including MSA.
Biohaven said it plans to conduct a phase 3 trial of the drug, which will now be known as BHV3241, to treat multiple system atrophy.
Under the agreement, Biohaven may develop the drug for all uses, except, for a period of five years, for any cardiovascular disease. AstraZeneca agreed not to develop or commercialize, for a period of five years, any myeloperoxidase inhibitor for treating any neurological disorder.
Biohaven will pay $7 million up front in cash and equity to AstraZeneca. The U.S.-based company will also pay up to $55 million based on regulatory and commercial milestones and up to $50 million on sales-based milestones. Additional payments will be due if Biohaven develops the drug for a second use.
Biohaven is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops drugs to treat neurological diseases.