Vertex Will Sell Milestones On Drug | July 20, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 29 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 29 | p. 25 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 20, 2009

Vertex Will Sell Milestones On Drug

Department: Business
Keywords: Vertex, Johnson & Johnson, telaprevir

In an unusual strategy to raise cash, Vertex Pharmaceuticals wants to sell off potential milestone payments associated with the development and commercialization of its lead drug candidate, telaprevir, a hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor. A unit of Johnson & Johnson agreed in 2006 to pay Vertex $100 million upon filing for regulatory approval to sell telaprevir in Europe and another $150 million upon the launch of the drug. Vertex expects to receive that money before April 2012 but is seeking a third party to advance a "substantial portion" of the total. Although industry observers consider the drug promising, a buyer would still be taking a risk: Results from Phase III clinical trials of the drug won't be out until next year.

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