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Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Drug Names(s): Lu-135252

Description: Darusentan is an ETA selective endothelin receptor antagonist being developed as an oral therapy for patients with uncontrolled hypertension. It is a member of a class of therapeutic agents known as endothelin receptor antagonists, or ETRAs, that can be orally administered. Endothelin is a small peptide hormone that is believed to play a critical role in the control of blood flow and cell growth. Elevated endothelin blood levels are associated with several cardiovascular disease conditions, including pulmonary arterial hypertension, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, chronic heart failure, stroke and restenosis of arteries after balloon angioplasty or stent implantation. Therefore, many scientists believe that agents that block the detrimental effects of endothelin will provide significant benefits in the treatment of these conditions. Recently, it has been discovered that there are two classes of endothelin receptors, ETA and ETB, which play significantly different roles in regulating blood vessel diameter. The binding of endothelin to ETA receptors located on smooth muscle cells causes vasoconstriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels. However, the binding of endothelin to ETB receptors located on the vascular endothelium causes vasodilation through the production of nitric oxide. The activity of the ETB receptor is thought to be counter-regulatory, protecting against excessive vasoconstriction.

Deal Structure: In June 2003, Myogen entered into a license agreement with Abbott Labs under which it received an exclusive worldwide license from Abbott to develop and commercialize darusentan for all conditions except oncology. In consideration for the license, Myogen paid Abbott initial license fees of $5.0 million and is obligated to make future milestone payments totaling $25.0 million if it successfully commercializes the drug for a single condition. Additional milestone payments would be due if Myogen commercializes darusentan for additional conditions. However, in no event would Myogen be obligated to pay more than $50.0 million in total license and milestone fees. In addition, Myogen will owe royalties based on net sales of darusentan. If Myogen seeks a co-promotion arrangement for darusentan in any country or group of countries, Abbott has the right of first negotiation. Abbott also has the option to negotiate to be the exclusive development and commercialization partner for darusentan in...See full deal structure in Biomedtracker

Partners: AbbVie Inc.

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