British drug discovery company C4X Discovery said AstraZeneca had signed a licence worth up $402 million to develop an oral therapy for the treatment of inflammatory and respiratory diseases using its NRF2 Activator programme.

The Manchester-based company said on Monday (November 28) it would receive pre-clinical milestone payments worth up to $16 million ahead of the first clinical trial, including $2 million upfront.

In addition, C4XD said it would receive a further potential $385.8 million in clinical development and commercial milestones and tiered mid-single digit royalties upon commercialisation of any treatment.

C4X Discovery says it aims to become the world’s most productive drug discovery engine by exploiting cutting edge technologies to design and create best-in-class small-molecule candidates targeting a range of high value therapeutic areas.

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