C4X gets another small deal from big pharma

After signing a licensing deal with Sanofi last year, C4X got more big pharma buy-in today from Astrazeneca. True, the up-front sums involved are small, but the UK group’s strategy of farming out preclinical assets is continuing to bear fruit. Astrazeneca, for its part, reckons that C4X’s Nrf2 activator programme could have disease-modifying potential in COPD; the group also has various other projects in development with this aim, including the IL-33-targeting tozorakimab. Nrf2 is described as a “master regulator” of the antioxidant response and has a role in fighting inflammation. Biogen’s multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera is thought to work via its effects on Nrf2, while Reata is also pursuing this approach with both omaveloxolone and bardoxolone, with mixed results so far. The list of diseases that could be addressed by Nrf2 activation is large; C4X also cites atopic dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, sickle cell disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension. As for what might be next for C4X’s out-licensing efforts, its pipeline names oral Malt-1 and α4β7 inhibitor programmes – still, the latter field had a setback with the failure of Protagonist’s PN-943 this year, which that group has since deprioritised.

Preclinical deals by C4X
Partner Mechanism Up-front payment ($m) Total potential deal value ($m) Date
Astrazeneca Oral NRF2 activators 2 402 Nov 2022
Sanofi Oral IL-17A inhibitors 7 433 Apr 2021
Indivior Oral orexin-1 receptor antagonists 10 284 Mar 2018
Source: Evaluate Pharma, company releases.

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