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September 5, 2018

Biohaven inks AstraZeneca licensing deal

Biohaven Pharmaceuticals has signed a licensing agreement with pharma giant AstraZeneca for a new drug to treat a rare neurodegenerative disease.

Biohaven said Wednesday it has obtained development and commercialization rights for the AstraZeneca drug known as AZD3241, which has already gone through Phase 2 clinical trials.

Under the deal, AstraZeneca will receive an upfront cash payment and shares in Biohaven. The drug giant is also eligible for further milestone payments and up to double-digit sales-based royalties, Biohaven said.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The New Haven drug maker plans to initiate a Phase 3 clinical trial on the drug, which it renamed BHV3241, to treat multiple system atrophy (MSA), a progressive and fatal disease that affects the autonomic nervous system and movement.

The drug inhibits MPO, a key driver of oxidative and inflammatory processes, high levels of which have been linked to brain disorders like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

“We’re excited about the potential of BHV3241 to become a first-in-class MPO inhibitor and novel treatment for MSA,” Biohaven CEO Dr. Vlad Coric said in a statement. “Patients affected by this severe neurological disorder are in desperate need of treatment options.”

As part of the deal, AstraZeneca has agreed not to pursue additional MPO inhibitors for neurological diseases for five years.

Reach Natalie Missakian at news@newhavenbiz.com

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