AstraZeneca (AZN) licenses SNG001, an inhaled inteferon beta (IFN-beta), from U.K. firm Synairgen Plc. It supports the immune system by correcting a deficiency which makes patients more susceptible to respiratory tract infections. The product has a broad spectrum anti-viral effect. It acts by delivering IFN-beta to the lungs when an infection begins to take hold in the upper airways. It is in clinical development as a treatment for respiratory tract infection in patients with severe asthma.
Under the terms of the agreement, AZN will pay Synairgen an upfront fee of $7.5M and development, regulatory and commercial milestones of up to $225M. Once commercially available, it will be pay tiered royalties in the range of single-digit to mid-teens. AZN will be responsible for future development costs. It will initiate a Phase 2a clinical trial in patients with severe asthma in early 2015.