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Novo Nordisk Signs License And Patent Deal With ZymoGenetics

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Novo Nordisk said Tuesday it has signed a deal with ZymoGenetics where it will in-license a fully-human anti-IL21 monoclonal antibody (IL-21 mAb) developed by ZymoGenetics, as well as broad intellectual property rights covering IL-21 mAb and the development of other IL-21 antibodies. MAIN FACTS: -Novo Nordisk has agreed to pay ZymoGenetics an initial upfront cash payment of $24M. -As the development programme of the IL-21 mAb advances, ZymoGenetics may receive further milestones from Novo Nordisk of up to $157.5M over the term of the agreement. -Milestones include a $1.5M milestone payment upon filing an investigational new drug application and a $8.5M milestone payment at the start of phase 1 studies with the mAb, plus royalties on net sales. -ZymoGenetics also has a right to co-promote the IL-21 mAb product in the US if the company contributes to phase 3 clinical development costs. -The IL-21 mAb is a pre-IND candidate for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. -Novo Nordisk inlicensed intellectual property rights to IL-21 antibodies outside North America in 2001 and now has worldwide rights. -"Novo Nordisk is currently building a pipeline of products to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and inflammatory bowel disease," says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk. -"It was important for us to secure the worldwide rights to the IL-21 mAb project as well as worldwide patent rights to IL-21 antibodies, and we look forward to initiating a phase 1 trial with this IL-21 mAb in 2010." -As part of the agreement, ZymoGenetics retains the option to fund a portion of phase 3 clinical development costs in exchange for an increased royalty rate on US sales and US co-promotion rights. -If ZymoGenetics exercises the option, it would pay a fixed fee of $10M together with 15% of the costs of phase 3 clinical trials, and royalties on US sales would increase from single to double digits. -By Stockholm Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; +46-8-5451-3090; [email protected]

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