Compugen, AstraZeneca unit in cancer drug development deal

JERUSALEM, April 2 (Reuters) - Israeli drugmaker Compugen Ltd said it had agreed an exclusive licensing deal with a unit of AstraZeneca to develop antibody products to treat cancer, which could be worth more than $200 million.

Under the terms of the deal announced on Monday, MedImmune - the research and development arm of AstraZeneca - will develop genetically engineered antibody products derived from Compugen’s oncology drug pipeline and pay royalties to the Israeli firm.

Compugen will receive a $10 million upfront payment and is eligible to receive up to $200 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones for the first product as well as tiered royalties on future product sales, Compugen said in a statement.

If additional products are developed, additional milestones and royalties would be due to Compugen, which would retain all other rights to its entire pipeline of products, it said.

“This licensing deal allows us to monetize specific scientific advances in our programmes, while we continue to advance our lead programmes into clinical trials,” Compugen CEO said Anat Cohen-Dayag said in a statement.

MedImmune said the deal will advance its “goal of delivering treatments to meaningfully improve the lives of cancer patients.”

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