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Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Metabasis Therapeutics License Rights to Hepatitis B Compound Pradefovir to Schering-Plough Corporation
  Wed, 13 Dec 2006 21:43:01
COSTA MESA, Calif. and SAN DIEGO, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc.
Under the terms of the agreements, Schering-Plough will make an upfront payment of $19.2 million to Valeant and $1.8 million to Metabasis and will pay up to an additional $90 million in aggregate fees upon the achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones to Valeant and Metabasis. Approximately $65 million of the additional fees would be paid to Valeant and $25 million to Metabasis. The amount to be paid to Metabasis includes the remaining $16 million in milestone payments that could have been realized under the previous agreement between Metabasis and Valeant. Schering-Plough will also pay royalties to Valeant and Metabasis in the event pradefovir is commercialized.
Timothy C. Tyson, Valeant's president and chief executive officer, said, "We are very pleased to license pradefovir to Schering-Plough, a partner with a global reach and commitment to developing medicines for treating life-threatening diseases like hepatitis B. Our development program for pradefovir has produced encouraging results. The compound's Phase 2 results showed significant reductions in viral load, which if confirmed in Phase 3 trials, could demonstrate a potential advantage over current therapies."
Dr. Paul Laikind, Metabasis' president and chief executive officer, said, "Based on the clinical results to date, we believe pradefovir's profile could make it best-in-class should it be approved. The agreements announced today with Schering-Plough, a company with a strong commitment to providing innovative treatments for hepatitis, further validate this product candidate's potential. Like our colleagues at Valeant, we are very pleased with the fact that pradefovir is moving to a team that can complete development and maximize the commercial potential of the product."
About Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a potentially fatal disease that can lead to complications such as cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. Approximately 2 billion people worldwide are estimated to have hepatitis B, with 350-400 million people estimated to be chronically infected. According to a recent study, the HBV
market currently represents more than $1 billion in annual sales, and is expected to grow to over $2.8 billion by 2012.
Pradefovir is an investigational compound that has not been found by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other regulatory agency to be safe or effective in the diagnosis, mitigation, treatment or cure of any disease or illness. It may not be sold or promoted in the United States unless and until the FDA has approved its New Drug Application. Similar restrictions apply in other countries.
About Valeant
Metabasis Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel drugs to address some of the world's most widespread and costly chronic diseases. The Company has established a pipeline that includes clinical stage and preclinical product candidates targeting major diseases with significant unmet medical needs. Targeted diseases include metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia and obesity as well as liver diseases such as hepatitis and primary liver cancer. Metabasis has developed several proprietary technologies for use in discovering and optimizing drugs, including the NuMimetic(TM) and HepDirect(R) technologies. Metabasis is continuing to identify and develop new product candidates using its proprietary technologies and expertise.
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