Shares of Macclesfield-based Redx Pharma plc rose about 7% on Thursday after it announced that a milestone payment from AstraZeneca has been triggered “as a result of progress in the development of RXC006, a preclinical porcupine inhibitor, targeting fibrotic diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).”
San Francisco investment firm Redmile Group LLC owns a 79.55% stake in Redx Pharma.
Redx Pharma said: “The milestone payment of $4 million has been triggered under the terms of the out licensing agreement announced on 4 August 2020 and forms part of the previously announced $17 million in early payments between deal signature and the successful commencement of the first clinical trial.
“Under this agreement, in addition to the $17 million in early payments, Redx may receive up to a further $360 million in development and commercial milestone payments throughout the course of the programme.
“The company is also eligible to receive tiered royalties of mid-single digit percentages, based on any future net sales.
“Porcupine inhibition is a novel anti-fibrotic approach that suppresses Wnt ligand secretion from pro-fibrotic cells.
“Wnt ligands are known to be strong drivers of fibrotic mechanisms and are highly expressed in diseases such as IPF.
“Wnt ligands regulate multiple aspects of disease biology so porcupine inhibition presents a potentially powerful anti-fibrotic approach.
“AstraZeneca is taking RXC006 forward into clinical development, targeting fibrotic diseases including IPF and anticipates entering clinical development in 2021.
“Redx continues to execute on its strategy, progressing its lead oncology and fibrosis programmes.
“These include the oral porcupine inhibitor, RXC004, targeting Wnt-driven tumours, which is in an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial in oncology patients, and the oral ROCK2 inhibitor, RXC007, which targets fibrosis, where first in human studies commenced in June 2021.”
Redx Pharma CEO Lisa Anson said: “We are extremely pleased that AstraZeneca are progressing RXC006 and the successful achievement of this milestone payment highlights, once again, Redx’s ability to generate molecules that have significant potential as novel medicines for unmet medical needs.
“We look forward to AstraZeneca progressing RXC006 into clinical trials and potentially delivering to patients who need new treatment options.”