Celleron Therapeutics Ltd, an Oxford UK based specialist in the development of individually targeted cancer medicines, has secured exclusive rights to AstraZeneca plc’s lead histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor (AZD 9468), for global development in conjunction with its proprietary ‘CancerNav’ predictive biomarker platform. ‘CancerNav’ specifically identifies those tumours which are most likely to respond to an individual cancer drug, thereby enabling a highly focussed clinical development and commercialisation programme, based on a closely linked diagnostic and therapeutic ‘personalised medicine’ approach. Under the terms of the agreement, full development and commercialisation rights to CXD101 pass to Celleron, including the right to sublicense. AstraZeneca will receive significant milestones, royalties and additional share of financial proceeds in the event of successful commercialisation by a third party. Celleron has furthermore granted to AstraZeneca the right to discuss the reacquisition of commercialisation rights at an appropriate future juncture. John Goddard, SVP of Strategic Planning and Business Development at AstraZeneca commented that; “We are very pleased to enter into this innovative and flexible agreement with Celleron Therapeutics. We have strong respect for Celleron and Oxford University’s unique skills in this specific field. AstraZeneca will benefit from the potential success of this drug in several ways and through partnership can do so without the need to commit internal R&D resources”. Professor David Kerr, Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Celleron, and Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at Oxford University added; “I am delighted that a company of AstraZeneca’s global stature in oncology has recognised the value and potential of our novel biomarker and clinical development expertise. Cancer is a large unmet medical need but there remain significant deficiencies in the traditional clinical trial paradigm. Celleron’s biomarker-driven clinical development and patient stratification capability overcomes many of the existing bottlenecks. Furthermore, this innovative transaction structure gives AZ and Celleron a very attractive combination of partnership and flexibility”.