AstraZeneca (AZN) and Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) announced an exclusive worldwide license agreement for the global development and commercialization of R256, Rigel's inhaled JAK inhibitor shown to inhibit IL-13 and IL-4 signaling, which is being investigated as a treatment for moderate to severe chronic asthma. In preclinical research, R256 has been shown to reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function. Under the terms of the agreement, Rigel will receive an upfront payment of $1M with an additional $8.25M in early milestone payments anticipated by the end of 2013. Together with other specified developmental, regulatory and launch milestone payments, the R256 collaboration could be worth up to $100M. Additionally, upon marketing approval of R256, Rigel will be eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on product sales.