Dynavax collaboration with AstraZeneca could total $136 million

Companies sign research collaboration and license agreement for the discovery and development of TLR-9 agonist-based therapies for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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BERKELEY, Calif.—Early September saw Dynavax Technologies Corp. enter into a research collaboration and license agreement with AstraZeneca for the discovery and development of TLR-9 agonist-based therapies for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The collaboration will utilize Dynavax's proprietary second-generation TLR-9 agonist immunostimula­tory sequences (ISS).
Under the terms of the agree­ment, Dynavax and AstraZeneca will collaborate to identify lead TLR-9 agonists and conduct appro­priate research-phase studies. AstraZeneca will be responsible for any development and world­wide commercialization of prod­ucts arising out of the research program. Dynavax may also have the opportunity to co-promote in the United States products arising from the collaboration.
Financial terms of the collabora­tion include an upfront fee of $10 million plus research funding and preclinical milestones that could bring the total committed funding to $27 million, resulting in a total potential deal value of approxi­mately $136 million. Upon com­mercialization, Dynavax is also eligible to receive royalties based on product sales.
"The management of respira­tory diseases such as asthma and COPD remains a major health challenge affecting 150 million people worldwide and represent­ing a significant financial burden to the global healthcare system," says Claude Bertrand, VP, respira­tory and inflammation research at AstraZeneca. "AstraZeneca believes that Dynavax's ISS-based technology represents an innova­tive, next-generation therapeutic intervention that could poten­tially expand and strengthen AstraZeneca's strong position in the respiratory disease field."
"We believe that AstraZeneca is the ideal partner for the develop­ment of asthma and COPD ISS-based therapies, as they have one of the most widely respected and commercially successful respi­ratory product portfolios in the industry," notes Dr. Dino Dina, Dynavax's CEO. "We appreciate AstraZeneca's recognition of the innovative, disease-modifying potential of our TLR-9 agonist-based approaches and are opti­mistic that with our combined resources and know-how, we will be able to create novel therapeutics that may provide benefit to patients suffering from these diseases.
"The clinical data generated by our four Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of ragweed-induced allergic rhinitis provide a strong foundation for applying ISS-based agonists to treat asthma and COPD. We are hopeful that this collabora­tion, the goal of which is to explore the potential of ISS alone to treat respiratory diseases, will help to expand our existing portfolio of ISS-based products."

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