AmgenAmgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and AstraZeneca Plc, announced an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize five monoclonal antibodies from Amgen's clinical inflammation portfolio (AMG 139, AMG 157, AMG 181, AMG 557 and brodalumab (AMG 827)).

The companies believe all the molecules have novel profiles and offer the potential to deliver important treatments across multiple indications in inflammatory diseases. The collaboration will provide Amgen with additional resources to optimally progress its portfolio, and Amgen will benefit from the strong respiratory, inflammation and asthma development expertise of MedImmune, AstraZeneca's biologics arm. The collaboration will also capitalize on AstraZeneca's global commercial reach in respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases. The agreement does not include certain territories previously partnered by Amgen for brodalumab with Kyowa Hakko Kirin and AMG 557 with Takeda.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will make a one-time $50 million upfront payment and the companies will share both costs and profits. Based on current plans, approximately 65 percent of costs for the 2012-2014 period will be funded by AstraZeneca. Thereafter, the companies will split costs equally. Amgen will book sales globally and will retain a low single-digit royalty for brodalumab and a mid single-digit royalty for the rest of the portfolio, after which the companies will share profits equally.

AstraZeneca will lead the development and commercial strategy of AMG 139, AMG 157 and AMG 181, while Amgen will lead the development and commercial strategy of brodalumab and AMG 557. Each development and commercialization lead will be under the oversight of joint governing bodies. For brodalumab, commercial promotion will be split. Amgen will promote in dermatology indications in the United States (U.S.) and Canada, and in rheumatology indications in the U.S., Canada and Europe. AstraZeneca will promote in respiratory and, initially, in dermatology indications of brodalumab across all territories outside the U.S., Canada and those markets where Amgen has existing partnerships. Allocation of promotional rights for other territories, indications and molecules will be agreed later between the companies.

"We are delighted to join forces with Amgen in developing and commercializing these novel clinical-stage assets that add value to our pipeline and build on our expertise in biologics. This creative collaboration will make the most of both companies' respective capabilities, including AstraZeneca's extensive global reach, to help bring these potentially innovative treatment options for a variety of respiratory and inflammatory diseases to patients around the world," said David Brennan, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca.

"We are very excited at the prospect of collaborating with a well-respected organization like AstraZeneca to advance our inflammation pipeline," said Kevin Sharer, Chairman and CEO at Amgen. "We believe this collaboration has the potential to bring more therapies to patients sooner, across more geographic areas. We are impressed with AstraZeneca's extensive experience in developing and launching products in the respiratory and gastroenterology areas, and believe this collaboration is an opportunity to work with a partner that has leading regulatory and commercial expertise in inflammation indications."

About the inflammation portfolio included in the agreement
Under the agreement, the companies will jointly develop and commercialize the following five assets from Amgen's clinical-stage portfolio:

  • Brodalumab (AMG 827) is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to and blocks signaling via the IL-17 receptor. Brodalumab is being investigated for psoriasis (completed Phase 2 and planned Phase 3), psoriatic arthritis (Phase 2) and asthma (Phase 2).
  • AMG 139 is a human monoclonal antibody. AMG 139 is being investigated in Phase 1b for Crohn's disease.
  • AMG 181 is a human monoclonal antibody. AMG 181 is being investigated in Phase 1a and Phase 1b for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
  • AMG 557 is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to B7-related protein 1 (B7RP-1). AMG 557 is being investigated in Phase 1b for autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • AMG 157 is a human monoclonal antibody that blocks interaction of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) with the TSLP receptor. AMG 157 is being investigated in Phase 1b for asthma.

About Amgen
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.