Barbara Klencke, Sierra Oncology CMO

With an as­sist from As­traZeneca, the sal­vage crew at Sier­ra bets an­oth­er $216M they can res­ur­rect an old Gilead JAK drug

Al­most a decade ago, Gilead shelled out $510 mil­lion in cash for YM Bio­Sciences and its on­ly drug, a JAK in­hibitor for a rare type of bone mar­row can­cer called myelofi­bro­sis. But when the can­di­date didn’t show any ben­e­fit over its ri­val, In­cyte’s Jakafi, the mol­e­cule end­ed up in the hands of Sier­ra On­col­o­gy.

Now, con­fi­dent it’s got a di­a­mond in the rough, Sier­ra $SR­RA is putting that drug, mo­melo­tinib, through an­oth­er Phase III tri­al in myelofi­bro­sis. And on Thurs­day, the biotech un­veiled a $216 mil­lion deal for the rights to As­traZeneca’s BRD4 BET in­hibitor AZD5153, which it plans on putting through a Phase II tri­al in com­bi­na­tion with mo­melo­tinib.

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