Novartis to pay $440 million for hepatitis C drug


WATERTOWN, Mass. — Novartis plans to pay up to $440 million for rights to a drug for treating hepatitis C made by Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Enanta said.

Enanta said it had made a licensing agreement with the Swiss drug maker for the worldwide development, manufacturing and commercialization of the drug EDP-239, which works by inhibiting NS5A, a protein that is key to the virus' replication.

"Novartis is a recognized leader in the field of HCV, and access to its global expertise combined with our shared vision for commercializing HCV therapies will support the successful development and commercialization of products targeting NS5A," Enanta president and CEO Jay Luly said.

Under the agreement, Novartis will pay Enanta $34 million upfront plus up to $406 million in milestone payments based on successful clinical, regulatory and commercial outcomes.

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