Acerta Pharma serves as AstraZeneca’s “Hematologic Oncology Center of Excellence”. As such, it has the responsibility of developing both internally discovered compounds as well as AstraZeneca sourced compounds for hematological malignancies. The company began operations in 2013 with the vision of combining cutting edge science, unique covalent technology, and an experienced, dedicated team in order to deliver novel targeted therapies for patients with cancer.
In February 2016, AstraZeneca made a multibillion-dollar investment in Acerta Pharma for 55% ownership, driven by the lead investigational Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, acalabrutinib and the opportunity to build out its hematology/oncology pipeline. (see Press Release – February 2, 2016). AstraZeneca holds the option to purchase the remainder of Acerta Pharma and complete a full acquisition.
Acerta Pharma’s discovery and research teams, which focus on developing new molecular entities, are based in Oss, The Netherlands. The group there was responsible for the discovery of acalabrutinib. Preclinical activities, non-clinical toxicology and chemistry/manufacturing/controls are based in Bellevue, WA. Our largest site, which includes clinical operations, medical science, regulatory, safety, compliance, biostatistics, commercial and US administration is located in Redwood City, CA. Acerta Pharma has recently announced that it will be moving the Redwood City teams to a new AstraZeneca led site in South San Francisco in Q4 2017.
The acalabrutinib program includes over 20 clinical trials for both monotherapy and in combination with other targeted molecules. Over 200 employees are engaged in the development of acalabrutinib and other pipeline compounds for hematologic malignancies.
Plans to expand the oncology program include testing other targeted compounds in combination with acalabrutinib in a variety of blood based oncology indications.