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Oct 10, 2007

GSK Agrees to Pay up to $965M in Cash for Synta Anticancer Drug

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Synta Pharmaceuticals plan to work together to further the latter’s Phase III candidate for metastatic melanoma. Synta could earn up to $215 million for this indication plus $750 million related to advancement of the drug in other types of cancer.

    STA-4783 is a small-molecule oxidative stress inducer. Synta will receive an upfront cash payment of $80 million. It is also eligible to receive payments of up to $135 million for events leading to approval of STA-4783 in metastatic melanoma. GSK will further tender milestone fees related to development and regulatory aspects of up to $450 million across various indications and up to $300 million linked to commercialization goals.

    In addition, GSK may purchase up to $45 million worth of Synta's common stock upon the achievement of specified development and regulatory milestones.

    Synta will continue to fund all the trials for metastatic melanoma in the U.S. The companies will share responsibility and costs for development of STA-4783 in other indications.

    Synta and GSK will jointly commercialize STA-4783 in the U.S. with Synta receiving a tiered profit share based on levels of annual net sales. The parties will share development costs outside of the U.S. Synta will be paid double-digit tiered royalties on net ex-U.S. sales.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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