AstraZeneca enters drug-development deal with Bicycle Therapeutics potentially worth more than $1 billion

AstraZeneca reached a deal with Bicycle Therapeutics that could be worth more than $1 billion to jointly identify and develop bicyclic peptides for the treatment of respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the latter company announced Thursday. Under the agreed terms, Bicycle Therapeutics will identify bicyclic peptides for an undisclosed number of targets specified by AstraZeneca, while the latter will control future development and commercialisation.

Bicycle Therapeutics will be entitled to payments from AstraZeneca of more than $1 billion, including an undisclosed upfront payment, future R&D funding, and development, regulatory and commercialisation milestones, provided all planned programmes reach the market. Bicycle Therapeutics will also be eligible for sales royalties on products developed in the partnership.

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According to Bicycle Therapeutics, bicyclic peptides are "a novel class of small-molecule medicines...designed to overcome many of the limitations of existing drug modalities." The company said the compounds "exhibit the affinity and...target specificity usually associated with antibodies, but in a small-molecule format enabling rapid tissue penetration and flexible routes of administration."

AstraZeneca executive vice president of global business development Menelas Pangalos remarked "the bicycle platform expands our drug discovery capabilities and enables us to broaden the range of targets we can prosecute across a range of disease indications."

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