AstraZeneca inks $120M deal for antibody tech

Continuing a strategy to beef up its R&D work through licensing pacts, AstraZeneca has agreed to pay Regeneron Pharmaceuticals up to $120 million in order to use its VelocImmune technology to discover therapeutic antibodies. Regeneron gains $20 million up front and a potential $100 million spread out over five payments. AstraZeneca has a termination clause that can kick in after the first three additional payments. The technology will be put to use by Cambridge Antibody Technologies, which was recently bought out by AstraZeneca. The U.K. biopharma company has been aggressively hunting down new drug prospects and technology. Last week it agreed to buy Arrow Therapeutics for $150 million and inked two licensing deals worth more than $800 million.

"AstraZeneca is committed to becoming a leader in the area of biologicals and VelocImmune is an important part of our strategy to succeed in this field," said Jan Lundberg, Ph.D., executive vice president of global discovery research.

- see the release for more information