Array BioPharma (NASDAQ: ARRY) and AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) recently announced plans for two additional randomized Phase II trials for ARRY-886, an oncology small molecule inhibitor targeting the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway. The trials, scheduled to initiate in 2H08, will test ARRY-886 in combination with chemotherapeutic agents in melanoma and non small cell lung cancer patients.
Recall back in December 2003, Array entered into an out-licensing and collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca to develop the MEK program in the field of oncology. Under the agreement AstraZeneca acquired exclusive worldwide rights to the clinical development candidate ARRY-886, along with ARRY-704 and an additional second-generation compound for oncology indications developed during the collaboration. Array retains the rights to all non-oncology therapeutic indications for MEK compounds not selected by AstraZeneca for development. To date Array has earned $21.5 million in up-front and milestone payments. The agreement also provides for research funding, which is now complete, and potential additional development milestone payments of approximately $75 million and royalties on product sales. AstraZeneca is responsible for further clinical development and commercialization of ARRY-886 and ARRY-704 and for the third compound they licensed.
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