Insmed has acquired global exclusive rights to AZD7986 from AstraZeneca. The drug is an investigational compound that will be developed for the treatment of bronchiectasis not linked to cystic fibrosis.
AZD7986, which Insmed renamed INS1007, blocks DPP1 (dipeptidyl peptidase I), an enzyme activating a factor that chops up proteins present in neutrophil immune cells. Neutrophils are active in inflammatory lung conditions. The excessive activation of the protein-degrading factors, called neutrophil serine proteases, destroys lung tissue and worsens inflammation.
Neutrophils play a key role in non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis often develop nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease, a condition that can cause irreversible lung damage and death. The addition of AZD7986 to Insmed’s drug development portfolio aligns with its current efforts to develop a new treatment for nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease.
“Because NTM lung disease and bronchiectasis often co-exist, we can readily leverage our existing relationships with physician experts around the world who are eagerly awaiting new treatment options,” Will Lewis, president and chief executive officer of Insmed, said in a news release.
The company is also developing a drug called Arikayce (liposomal amikacin for inhalation) for the treatment of NTM lung disease. The drug has completed two Phase 3 clinical trials in cystic fibrosis patients (NCT01315678 and NCT01316276), and a Phase 2 study in patients with non-CF bronchiectasis and chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection (NCT01315236).
“We expect that when approved, ARIKAYCE and INS1007 will allow us to provide great value to the patients who are living with nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease and bronchiectasis, as well as the physicians who treat them,” Lewis said.
AstraZeneca will receive $30 million upfront for the rights to INS1007, and will then continue receiving payments totaling $120 million during the drug development and regulatory process. In addition, AstraZeneca will be entitled to royalties and the possibility to negotiate a future agreement with Insmed for commercialization of the drug for other lung diseases.
“We are pleased to be working with Insmed on this program from our early stage respiratory portfolio, which represents a novel approach to treating bronchiectasis,” said Maarten Kraan, head of the Respiratory and Inflammation Innovative Medicines Unit at AstraZeneca. “Insmed has the expertise and experience required to take AZD7986 forward in this important indication and bring about results that we hope will benefit patients in the future.”