Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) announced that the Company and AstraZeneca signed an amendment to their existing Research Collaboration and License Agreement under which, based on the strategic priorities of the two companies, AstraZeneca will now conduct a Phase 2a safety and efficacy trial of AZD1419 in asthma patients that was originally to be conducted by Dynavax.

In a previously reported Phase 1a study of the safety of 4 weekly doses of AZD1419 compared to placebo in 45 healthy volunteers, ascending doses were well tolerated with no serious adverse events observed in treated subjects. Additional endpoints assessing pharmacodynamics were met, with dose-dependent induction of interferon-regulated genes in sputum and blood cells.

On the basis of these encouraging results, the companies decided to bypass a planned Phase 1b trial and proceed to Phase 2a, a study that was to be conducted by Dynavax. As trial design progressed, AstraZeneca elected, with Dynavax’s full support, to conduct the study in house, consistent with AstraZeneca’s commitment to respiratory disease, one of the company’s three main therapy areas, and Dynavax’s increasing strategic focus on vaccines and immuno-oncology.

“Our partnership with AstraZeneca is focused on the advancement of AZD1419. This amendment will promote that objective by leveraging AstraZeneca’s expertise in international clinical development of respiratory products,” said Eddie Gray, Chief Executive Officer of Dynavax. (Original Source)

Shares of Dynavax Technologies are up about one percent to $21.40 in after-hours trading. DVAX has a 1-year high of $32.49 and a 1-year low of $15.80. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $25.58 and its 200-day moving average is $26.53.

On the ratings front, Cowen analyst Phil Nadeau reiterated a Buy rating on DVAX, with a price target of $60, in a report issued on January 7. The current price target implies an upside of 181.3% from current levels. According to TipRanks.com, Nadeau has a total average return of 2.7%, a 40.0% success rate, and is ranked #879 out of 3582 analysts.

Dynavax Technologies Corp is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the development for the prevention of infectious disease, the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and the treatment of cancer.