The multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company made a deal with the firm behind Imperial College London’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine to develop and sell drugs on its self-amplifying RNA technology.
AstraZeneca will make a “sizeable” investment in the company called VaxEquity, and provide milestone payments of as much as $195 million, and funding as many as 26 drug targets. Both the company’s plans to develop both therapies and vaccines, using self-amplifying RNA.
“We have had interest from other pharma partners, but I think what is interesting for us in terms of AstraZeneca is their wider interest in exploiting this technology, not just in the infectious disease space,” -Robin Shattock, the professor leading the research at Imperial, said.
This collaborative technology will work in the same way as the messenger RNA (mRNA) made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
“We believe self-amplifying RNA, once optimized, will allow us to target novel pathways not amenable to traditional drug discovery across our therapy areas of interest,” – said AstraZeneca research chief Mene Pangalos.