Sierra Oncology to licence myelofibrosis candidate from AstraZeneca

pharmafile | August 6, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing  

Under a new agreement announced on Friday, AstraZeneca will licence AZD5153, a potent and selective BRD4 BET inhibitor with a novel bivalent binding mode, to Sierra Oncology.

A Phase II study examining Janus kinases (JAK) inhibitor momelotinib in combination with AZD5153 in myelofibrosis patients has been planned by Sierra and will commence in the first half of 2022.

Stephen Dilly, President and Chief Executive Officer at Sierra Oncology, said: “This global in-licensing deal […] brings another novel compound into the Sierra development pipeline, expanding our opportunity to deliver transformative therapies for patients with rare cancers. Second, it may allow us to enhance and extend our ability to treat myelofibrosis patients, building on momelotinib’s potential as a cornerstone therapy.”

The trial will explore proof of concept for a future confirmatory study and also support potential additional studies of momelotinib with other novel agents in development for myelofibrosis.

Sierra will pay AstraZeneca an upfront payment, as well as certain predetermined development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

Mark Kowalski, Chief of Research and Early Development at Sierra, said:“The combination of JAK inhibition and BET inhibition has been identified as a promising emergent approach for the treatment of myelofibrosis. However, currently available JAK inhibitors are myelosuppressive, leaving a critical unmet need for patients with anaemia or those at risk of developing treatment-emergent anaemia. Given momelotinib’s unique mechanism as an inhibitor of ACVR1 / ALK2 in addition to JAK1 and JAK2, we are excited by the potential for improved outcomes for myelofibrosis patients with this promising combination.”

Sierra will also provide tiered royalty payments based on future commercial success of the drug and will be responsible for the initial Phase II trial execution and all future global development and commercialisation activities for the candidate.

Kat Jenkins

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