In June 2012, Rigel entered into an agreement with AstraZeneca for exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Rigel’s proprietary investigational inhaled Janus tyrosine kinase (JAK) inhibitor.

The JAK inhibitor, R256 (now referred as AZD0449), is being pursued in patients with chronic asthma.

In preclinical studies, R256 was shown to be a potent inhibitor of IL-13 and IL-4 signaling. Inhibiting the IL-13 and IL-4 pathways could reduce the severity of inflammation and improve lung function by mechanisms associated with several hallmarks of asthma such as bronchoconstriction, mucus overproduction and airway remodeling.

Rigel received an upfront and early milestone payments, and will also receive developmental, regulatory, and launch milestones. Additionally, Rigel will be eligible for tiered royalty payments on product net sales.

Development of AZD0449:

  • Phase 1 ​in healthy volunteers and patients with mild asthma to investigate the safety, anti-inflammatory effect of AZD0449​ is expected to be complete H2 2020