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

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

In preclinical studies, this molecule 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 is eligible for additional development, regulatory, and milestone payments, as well as tiered royalty payments on any future net sales of products emerging from the collaboration.

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 H1 2021