AstraZenenca and CrystalGenomics, Inc. Form Research Collaboration to Develop Novel Anti-Infective Treatments

Jan 13, 2010, 12:36 ET from CrystalGenomics

SEOUL, South Korea, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- AstraZeneca and CrystalGenomics (KOSDAQ: CRYSTAL [A083790]) announced today that they have entered into a research collaboration to discover and develop a novel anti-infective for use as a potential antibacterial agent.

Under the terms of this agreement, Korea-based CrystalGenomics will receive research funding from AstraZeneca for two years. CrystalGenomics will also be eligible to receive future milestones and royalty payments associated with development and commercialisation of a drug candidate. Further financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

This is the first such infection research collaboration AstraZeneca has entered into with a Korean-based company and further demonstrates its commitment to Asia.

Antibiotic resistance is a serious and rapidly growing global issue. The need for novel anti-infectives is being driven by the ever-increasing development of bacterial resistance to marketed antibiotics. According to the Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors (World Bank Publications, 2006)(1), infectious diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Deaths caused by bacterial infections have reached more than 10 million cases annually and bacterial resistance is a growing problem.

The goal of the collaboration is to generate optimized lead compounds against a pre-agreed bacterial target, furthering AstraZeneca's ability to progress novel targets in this important therapeutic area. To accomplish this, CrystalGenomics will use its structure-based drug discovery platform technology to optimise selected novel scaffolds from AstraZeneca's proprietary compound library against an antibacterial target which has been validated by AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca and CrystalGenomics will perform in-vitro enzyme and cell based assays, structure determination, medicinal chemistry, pharmacokinetic studies, toxicology tests and pharmacological evaluations under this collaboration. AstraZeneca will be responsible for preclinical and clinical development and commercialisation.

Les Hughes, AstraZeneca's Vice President of Infection Discovery said: "AstraZeneca is building a leading franchise in the treatment of infectious diseases, both through our own in-house research as well as collaborations such as this partnership with CrystalGenomics. Infectious disease remains a serious world health problem and AstraZeneca is committed to finding therapies that will tackle a wide range of serious infections afflicting mankind."

Joong Myung Cho, Ph.D., President & CEO of CrystalGenomics said: "We are very pleased that AstraZeneca, a world leader in the discovery of breakthrough medicines and proven expertise in pharmaceutical business, has chosen to collaborate with CrystalGenomics.

"This partnership leverages the innovative capabilities of CrystalGenomics and AstraZeneca in creating a world-class drug discovery and development network.

"We believe this collaboration is a validation of CrystalGenomics' ability to discover novel drugs on a global standard."

Notes to Editors:

About CrystalGenomics

CrystalGenomics, Inc. is a publicly-held company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel drug candidates in the areas of cancer, inflammation and infectious diseases. CrystalGenomics' general business model is to develop drug candidates from discovery through preclinical or clinical proof of concept and form alliances with partners for further development and commercialization. The lead candidate, CG100649 is a next generation NSAID which has completed a phase IIa trial in Europe. CG400549 is a novel antibiotic candidate against MRSA and VRSA that has entered a phase I trial in Europe, and CG200745 is an oral/IV HDAC inhibitor for cancer which is IND-ready. The company has competitive and proprietary platform technologies for structural biology, structure-based novel scaffold/lead design, lead optimization and candidate selection. CrystalGenomics is headquartered in Seoul, Korea and its subsidiary, CG Pharmaceuticals Inc., is located in Emeryville, California for US and EU clinical management. For more information on CrystalGenomics, please visit: www.cgxinc.com

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US$ 31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines.  For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: www.astrazeneca.com

For media enquiries, please contact:

AstraZeneca Korea

AstraZeneca R&D

CrystalGenomics

JongHee Kang

+82-2-21880812

jonghee.kang@astrazeneca.com

Andrea Conners

+302-885-7652

andrea.conners@astrazenca.com

Steven Kim

+82-2-3010-8611

skim@cgxinc.com


Additional Information

According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)(2), despite the alarming increase of resistant strains, there have been only five US approvals for new antibacterial agents between 2003 and 2008, of which four agents were considered non-novel antibiotics. In terms of new antibacterial classes since the 1970s, the number is even lower as Oxazolidinones was the only new antibacterial class in more than three decades.

Reference List

(1) Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors (World Bank Publications, 2006) Lopez AD, Mathers CD, Ezzati M, Jamison D, Murray CJL (2006) "The global and regional burden of disease and risk factors, 2001: systematic analysis of population health data" Lancet, 367(9524): 1747-1757

(2) Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) "Bad Bugs, No Drugs: No ESKAPE! An Update from the Infectious Diseases Society of America" (September 2008)

SOURCE CrystalGenomics



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