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AstraZeneca, Scorpion Team Up To Explore New Treatments Against Hard-to-target Cancer Proteins

Pharma major AstraZeneca (AZN.L), said on Thursday that it has signed a collaboration deal with Scorpion Therapeutics, a drug maker focused on cancer care, to discover, develop, and commercialize precision medicines against previously hard-to-target cancer proteins.

The collaboration focuses on a class of proteins called transcription factors that regulate gene expression as well as crucial physiological functions including cell development and survival.

According to the terms of the deal, Scorpion will receive an upfront cash payment of $75 million from AstraZeneca.

In addition, Scorpion is eligible to receive additional success-based payments in the form of option fees and milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on net sales ranging from mid-single digit to low-double digits.

Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, said: "Unlocking potentially transformative biology is pivotal for delivering the next wave of cancer treatments. Scorpion's innovative platform is a strong strategic fit as we explore a range of new modalities across our broad drug discovery toolbox with promise to disrupt the activity of these highly-validated cancer targets."

Scorpion will lead discovery and certain preclinical activities, whereas its partner AstraZeneca has the exclusive option to license worldwide rights for up to three drug candidates.

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