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Regulus Inks microRNA Drugs Collaboration with AstraZeneca

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Regulus Therapeutics this week announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with AstraZeneca to discover, develop, and commercialize microRNA therapeutics against three exclusive targets.

The preclinical targets, Regulus said, are focused on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and cancer. The company said its work on miR-33 for the treatment of atherosclerosis is included in the arrangement.

Regulus acquired the exclusive rights to miR-33-related intellectual property early last year (GSN 3/31/2011). Notably, miRNA drug firm Santaris Pharma is also developing miR-33-targeting therapies for cardiovascular disorders with its own IP (GSN 3/3/2011).

AstraZeneca will make an initial $28 million payment to Regulus, which includes an equity investment. Regulus also stands to receive milestones and royalties.

Regulus will be responsible for preclinical development of the drugs, while AstraZeneca will handle clinical and commercialization efforts.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

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