Dynavax Technologies Corp, Berkeley, Calif, has entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with AstraZeneca for the discovery and development of TLR-9 agonist-based therapies for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The collaboration will utilize Dynavax’s proprietary second-generation TLR-9 agonist immunostimulatory sequences or ISS.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dynavax and AstraZeneca will collaborate to identify lead TLR-9 agonists and conduct appropriate research phase studies. AstraZeneca will be responsible for any development and worldwide commercialization of products arising out of the research program. Dynavax may also have the opportunity to co-promote in the United States products arising from the collaboration.

“The management of respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD remains a major health challenge affecting 150 million people worldwide and representing a significant financial burden to the global healthcare system,” said Claude Bertrand, vice president respiratory and inflammation research at AstraZeneca. “New approaches that have the potential to reverse the course of respiratory disease are needed. AstraZeneca believes that Dynavax’s ISS-based technology represents an innovative, next-generation therapeutic intervention that could potentially expand and strengthen AstraZeneca’s strong position in the respiratory disease field.”