Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Amgen, Arrowhead to develop gene therapies for cardiovascular disease

PBR Staff Writer Published 30 September 2016

Amgen said it will acquire a stake in Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals and partner with the company in the development of gene therapies for cardiovascular disease.

Arrowhead will get $35m up front and will be eligible to receive up to $617m in milestone payments.

Amgen will also invest $21.5m in Arrowhead common stock. royalties for the sales of eventual drugs that go on the market from the deal.

Amgen will cover the costs of clinical development and commercialization of the drugs.

As per the first deal, Amgen will get an exclusive global license to Arrowhead's ARC-LPA program, in which RNAi molecules are designed to reduce elevated levels of lipoprotein that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Under the second agreement, Amgen will secure an exclusive license option to RNAi therapy for undisclosed cardiovascular target.

Amgen research and development executive vice president Sean Harper said: "Arrowhead's expertise in RNAi makes them a valuable partner as we translate genetic discoveries into potential therapies that can improve health outcomes for patients.

"This collaboration builds upon our commitment to cardiovascular disease with targets that we believe are uniquely suited for RNAi-based therapy."

Amgen is building a cardiovascular portfolio via its own research and development efforts, as well as collaborations.

The portfolio, which includes several approved and investigational molecules, intends to address the existing unmet patient needs like high cholesterol and heart failure.

Arrowhead is also working on drugs to fight renal cell carcinoma, chronic hepatitis B, and several other diseases.

Image: One of the many buildings at Amgen headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California. Photo: courtesy of Coolcaesar.