Regeneron In R&D Deal With AstraZeneca For Treatment Of Obesity

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN) and AstraZeneca (AZN) on Tuesday said they are teaming up to research, develop and commercialize small molecule medicines to treat obesity and related co-morbidities.

This collaboration builds on the recent discovery from the Regeneron Genetics Center of rare genetic mutations in the GPR75 gene associated with protection against obesity. Novel small molecule drug candidates to be developed by the companies target GPR75.

As reported in "Science", people with at least one inactive copy of the GPR75 gene had lower BMI, weighed at least 12 pounds less, and had 54% lower chances of obesity.

"We are pleased to announce this important collaboration with Regeneron to identify small molecule modulators against GPR75, a newly identified target with genetic validation in metabolic disorders. Obesity and insulin resistance remain key drivers in the development of type 2 diabetes and areas of significant unmet medical need," said Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca.

The companies said they are planning to split research and development costs evenly and share future profits equally.

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