Amgen, AstraZeneca team on brodalumab, others

April 18, 2012

Pharmaceutical companies Amgen and AstraZeneca have announced an agreement to jointly develop and market five experimental Amgen drugs, including brodalumab, targeting inflammatory diseases.

International report - Pharmaceutical companies Amgen and AstraZeneca have announced an agreement to jointly develop and market five experimental Amgen drugs, including brodalumab, targeting inflammatory diseases.

Brodalumab, under study as a possible treatment for psoriasis and other skin conditions, is the farthest along in development. Amgen has finished phase 2 human testing of the drug and is planning phase 3.

PRNewsWire reports that the announcement comes at a time when London-based AstraZeneca is experiencing setbacks in drug development and faces expiration of patent protection on some of its most profitable drugs. Amgen, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., stands to benefit from AstraZeneca’s expertise in developing asthma, inflammation and respiratory drugs.

The five drugs central to the agreement are brodalumab, also known as AMG 827; AMG 139 for Crohn's disease; AMG 181 for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; AMG 557 for autoimmune diseases such as lupus; and AMG 157 for asthma. These drugs are all monoclonal antibodies - protein-based drugs, typically administered via injection or infusion. Amgen will spearhead development and marketing of brodalumab and AMG 557, while AstraZeneca will lead on AMG 139, AMG 157 and AMG 181. Joint governing bodies will oversee the projects.

AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $50 million upfront and will fund about 65 percent of costs associated with the drugs through 2014, with subsequent costs divided equally, according to the report.

Go back to the Dermatology Times eNews newsletter.