Enanta Pharmaceuticals, a developer of best-in-class small molecule drugs in the infectious disease field, has formed an exclusive collaboration and license agreement with Novartis for the worldwide development, manufacture and commercialization of its lead development candidate, EDP-239, a hepatitis C virus inhibitor.
Enanta will receive an upfront payment of $34 million and is eligible to receive up to $406 million in milestones and tiered, double-digit royalties on worldwide sales of products. It retains co-detail rights in the U.S. Novartis will be responsible for all costs associated with the development, manufacture and commercialization of EDP-239—which has received IND approval from the FDA—and will fund Enanta's drug discovery efforts on certain additional compounds targeting HCV.
"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," said Jay R. Luly, PhD, president and CEO, Enanta Pharmaceuticals.
He added, "We believe EDP-239 has great potential as a potent ingredient in combination drug therapy, and our preclinical studies have demonstrated high potency against multiple genotypes of the virus, excellent safety profile and a preclinical pharmacokinetic profile amenable to once-a-day dosing in humans."