Insmed Incorporated has disclosed a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca for the global rights to AZD7986, a new oral drug that may help treat rare pulmonary diseases.

Insmed Incorporated, a biopharmaceutical company focused on rare diseases, disclosed a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca for global exclusive rights to AZD7986, a new oral, reversible inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase I (DPP1, aka cathepsin C). This collaboration is seen as a significant step toward dealing with rare, incurable pulmonary diseases like non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (non-CF bronchiectasis), a neutrophil-driven disorder stemming from chronic inflammation and infection, and leading to irreversible bronchi dilation.

“We are pleased to be working with Insmed on this program from our early stage respiratory portfolio, which represents a novel approach to treating bronchiectasis,” said Maarten Kraan, head of the Respiratory and Inflammation Innovative Medicines Unit at AstraZeneca, in a press release. “Insmed has the expertise and experience required to take AZD7986 forward in this important indication and bring about results that we hope will benefit patients in the future,” he said.

DPP1 works by activating a set of enzymes, called neutrophil serine proteases (NSPs), which are involved in the development of illnesses affecting the lungs. AZD7986 blocks DPP1, so it can be used to manipulate NSPs and perhaps derail lung disease-related pathways.

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