AstraZeneca castoff draws $123M wager on CXCR2 antagonist as Arena lines up a buyout option
Back in 2018, James Mackay — then leading an inflammatory disease group at AstraZeneca after leading the pharma giant’s acquisition of Ardea — took interest in a drug that’d been relegated to the shelves four years earlier.
Where AstraZeneca once saw a disappointing COPD drug, he saw a Phase II-ready candidate that could tackle a slate of serious conditions.
So he grabbed AZD4721, renamed it RIST4721, spun out a new company named Aristea Therapeutics, recruited a bench of experienced drug developers and got $15 million from Novo Holdings.
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