MedImmune, the biologics R&D arm of AstraZeneca, has formed an agreement with biotechnology firm NGM to develop therapies for type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The agreement enables the partners to exploit NGM’s enteroendocrine cell (EEC) programme, which identifies hormones linked to metabolism and blood glucose regulation.
The two companies will jointly advance novel peptide and antibody drugs based on the discovered EEC hormones.
MedImmune will be able to license in these EEC targets, and will be responsible for the global development, manufacture and commercialisation of drugs arising from them.
The UK pharma company’s partnership with the US-based biotech firm reflects AZ’s growing commitment to the ‘open innovation’ R&D model.
MedImmune will make an upfront payment to NGM and provide it with research funding. NGM will receive further payments on reaching development, regulatory and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on global product sales.
“Through NGM’s innovative research in metabolic disease, we believe our collaboration could lead to potential innovative medicines for diabetes and obesity that will make a difference in patients’ lives," said Cristina Rondinone, Head of MedImmune’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Innovative Medicines Unit.
“Our partnership with NGM complements AstraZeneca’s existing small molecule and biologics portfolio in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, one of our core therapy areas.”
Jin-Long Chen, President of NGM, commented: “With MedImmune’s deep biologics and development expertise, we are confident that we will further enrich the pipeline of therapies for the treatment of diabetes and obesity.”
Based in San Francisco, NGM is a drug discovery company that specialises in biologics for diabetes, obesity and other cardio-metabolic diseases.