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AstraZeneca elects to return AZD9412 drug rights to Synairgen

PBR Staff Writer Published 28 April 2017

AstraZeneca has opted to return rights on drug AZD9412 (inhaled interferon beta) to Synairgen, which did not meet the pharma giant's predefined criteria for progression in a trial.

The AZD9412 is a novel inhaled interferon beta therapy, which is being developed to support the immune system by correcting a deficiency that makes vulnerable to respiratory tract viral infections.

In October 2016, Synairgen had provided an update on AZD9412’s Inexas trail, which did not meet predefined criteria for progression.

The study has been halted due to a low severe exacerbation event rate, which compromised an assessment of this endpoint.

According to Synairgen, treatment with inhaled interferon beta, which can switch on the lungs’ antiviral defences, have a beneficial effect on lung function and consistent with the firm’s own Phase II trial (SG005).

AstraZeneca has completed the further analysis of samples from the trial. The data from the sample analysis and the clinical trial data will licensed to Synairgen, as part of the deal.

Synairgen intends to complete the data analysis, which will serve as basis to determine the future direction of the programme.

University of Southampton’s Medical Research Council Immunopharmacology clinical professor Stephen Holgate said: “We believe that the biomarker, lung function and safety data from this and our previous study continue to support the potential of inhaled interferon beta as a treatment for vulnerable patients whose disease control is badly affected when they get a cold.”

“We are particularly interested in the potential for COPD, where exacerbations are associated with disease progression and an increased risk of dying.”

Synairgen CEO Richard Marsden said: “We remain positive about the potential of inhaled interferon beta, particularly for patients with COPD who suffer due to respiratory viruses.”

Image: AstraZeneca's R&D Site in Mölndal, Sweden. Photo: courtesy of Erik031.