Heptares and AstraZeneca Enter Agreement to Develop Novel Immuno-Oncology Treatments for a Range of Cancers
Heptares Therapeutics (“Heptares”), the clinical-stage GPCR structure-guided drug discovery and development company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation (“Sosei”; TSE Mothers Index: 4565), is pleased to announce that it has entered into a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca under which AstraZeneca will acquire exclusive global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialise the adenosine A2A receptor antagonist, HTL-1071, a small molecule immuno-oncology candidate, and potential additional A2A receptor-blocking compounds. AstraZeneca will focus on exploring HTL-1071 and any additional compounds across a range of cancers, including in combination with its existing portfolio of immunotherapies.
Tumour cells have evolved mechanisms to evade the immune system, including through the production of a natural molecule called adenosine. By stimulating A2A receptors, adenosine stops T-cells within the immune system from proliferating and reduces their ability to destroy cancer cells. Blocking A2A receptors can therefore promote the anti-cancer response of T-cells within in the tumour microenvironment.
Under the terms of the agreement, Heptares will grant AstraZeneca an exclusive license to research, develop, manufacture and commercialise HTL-1071. The companies will also collaborate to discover further A2A receptor-blocking compounds for development in cancer immunotherapy.