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.