Probiodrug AG (Probiodrug) announced today the transfer of its experimental cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) inhibitor program to AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN, NYSE: AZN). The transaction includes the sale to AstraZeneca of a lead molecule and back-up compounds with the associated intellectual property. CDK9, which has been implicated in the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in proliferation and inflammation, is a promising target for the treatment of both cancer and inflammatory diseases.
"AstraZeneca is an excellent party to take over our promising CDK9 inhibitor program," commented Hendrik Liebers, CFO of Probiodrug. "This transaction is consistent with our strategy to focus our resources exclusively on Alzheimer's disease."
Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are critical regulators of cell cycle progression and RNA transcription. A variety of genetic events cause overactivity of the cell cycle CDKs in cancer and their inhibition can lead to both cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.
Susan Galbraith, vice president and head of the Oncology iMed unit at AstraZeneca, added, "We are particularly interested in the development of targeted therapies for oncology, such as CDK9. We believe that Probiodrug's CDK9 inhibitor program, while early stage, shows potential and we look forward to continuing its development."
Financial terms of the asset purchase were not disclosed. Probiodrug was advised by UP Biotech Management AG in this transaction.