Orca Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca announced a three year collaboration to develop inhibitors of retinoic acid–related orphan nuclear receptor gamma (RORγ).
Inhibitors of this receptor are believed to have potential against a wide range of autoimmune diseases for which there is currently no safe, orally available and effective treatment.
AstraZeneca will gain access to RORγ inhibitors developed by Orca Pharmaceuticals and will integrate these into its in-house programme.
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Working together, scientists from AstraZeneca and Orca Pharmaceuticals will identify lead compounds from this programme for progression and characterise the autoimmune condition to which the lead compounds are best suited.
Orca Pharmaceuticals will receive an upfront and milestone payments from AstraZeneca dependent on the success of their RORγ inhibitors in the programme with a potential total value of $122.5 million.
AstraZeneca has the option to acquire the Orca compounds at the end of the collaboration.
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