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AZ files mRNA clinical trial application


AstraZeneca has filed a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) with the Paul Ehrlich Institute and the German Federal Ministry of Health to initiate a Phase I clinical trial of AZD8601.

The programme is part of a collaboration between AstraZeneca and Moderna to discover, develop and commercialise messenger mRNA (mRNA) TherapeuticsTM to treat serious cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases as well as cancer. It marks the first programme resulting from the collaboration to progress towards clinical trials.

AZD8601 is an investigational mRNA-based therapy that encodes for vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). It was discovered and developed in collaboration with Kenneth Chien, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Medicine and his team at the Integrated Cardio-Metabolic Centre at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.


Marcus Schindler, Vice President, Innovative Medicines & Early Development at AstraZeneca said, “Development of regenerative therapies for the treatment of cardiometabolic disease is a hugely exciting and innovative area. We believe that using modified mRNA to initiate a strong, local and transient surge of VEGF-A expression could help us overcome challenges associated with previous approaches to regulate this protein in tissues. AZD8601 could one day provide a unique regenerative treatment option for patients with heart failure, diabetic wound healing and other ischemic vascular diseases.”

Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer, Moderna said, “This marks a significant milestone for both Moderna and AstraZeneca as our first partnered mRNA programme reaches the clinic. It is a validation of our shared vision to harness the potential of mRNA Therapeutics to address serious unmet needs with the goal of improving patients’ lives.” This has been a highly collaborative partnership since its inception, and I want to recognise the tremendous work of all involved, including the AstraZeneca team, my Moderna colleagues and Dr. Chien and his team. Together, I believe we will continue to make significant strides that will push new boundaries in the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.”

Dr. Chien said, “It has been rewarding working as an integrated academic partner with AstraZeneca and Moderna to generate a complete package of strong pre-clinical data over the past three years since our initial publication in mouse studies and we are thrilled that the clinical trial application has been filed.”