AstraZeneca buys a CDK9 cancer drug portfolio

AstraZeneca ($AZN) has swooped in to pick up a portfolio of new cancer therapy from Germany's Probiodrug. The pharma giant paid an undisclosed sum for the biotech's CDK9 program, which includes a lead molecule and some backups. AstraZeneca says the portfolio has potential both for cancer as well as inflammatory diseases. Cyclin-dependent kinases regulate cell cycle progression. CDK 4/6 therapies at Pfizer ($PFE) and Novartis ($NVS) have attracted the bulk of investigators' attention in the field until now. Hendrik Liebers, CFO of Probiodrug, says the deal leaves the company free to focus exclusively on Alzheimer's. Release