Schering-Plough and PTC Therapeutics have agreed to codevelop and market PTC's preclinical compounds for the oral treatment of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and other viral diseases.
Under the exclusive collaboration and licensing agreement announced recently, Schering-Plough will pay PTC $12 million and provide funding for PTC's research efforts. PTC and Schering-Plough will conduct a joint research program while Schering-Plough will be responsible for development and commercialization efforts worldwide.
In addition, PTC may earn milestone payments if specific development, regulatory and commercial goals are achieved. Total payments to PTC could exceed $200 million, the companies said. Schering-Plough will receive exclusive worldwide commercialization rights for any approved products and pay PTC royalties on worldwide net sales.
"The goal of this alliance is to develop new oral therapies to improve treatment for patients with Hepatitis C, one of the most serious and common blood-borne infections in the world," said Catherine Strader, executive vice president of discovery research for Schering-Plough Research Institute.
Chronic Hepatitis C is estimated to affect more than 10 million people in major world markets, including in Canada, Europe and the U.S., according to the companies. It is a leading cause of chronic liver disease and one of the most common reasons patients require a liver transplant.