Offloading psoriasis and dermatitis antibodies continues AZ’s plan to refocus on fewer therapy areas

AstraZeneca (AZ) has agreed licensing deals with skincare specialist Leo Pharma for two antibodies being developed to treat psoriasis and dermatitis. Leo will pay $115 million (£87 million) up front, plus up to $1 billion in performance-related milestone payments and royalties on successfully marketed products.

Leo will gain global rights to develop tralokinumab for skin conditions, but AZ will retain rights to commercialise the antibody for respiratory diseases and other indications. The other antibody included in the deal is brodalumab, which AZ had previously licensed to Valeant. Valeant has ceded its rights to develop the drug in Europe (which will now transfer to Leo), while Valeant retains rights in the US and most global markets apart from Japan and some other Asian countries.