Schering-Plough will aid Novacea in its development of Asentar, currently in a Phase III trial in patients with androgen-independent prostate cancer. The drug is a high-dose oral formulation of calcitriol, a potent hormone that exerts its effects through the vitamin D receptor.
The exclusive, worldwide license agreement includes the development and commercialization of the Asentar. Novacea will receive an upfront payment of $60 million, including $35 million as reimbursement for past R&D expenses, a license fee of $25 million, and a commitment to purchase $12 million of Novacea common stock at a predetermined price within 10 days of the closing.
Additionally, Novacea could earn precommercial milestone payments of up to $380 million and tiered royalties on worldwide sales.
Schering-Plough will be responsible for all forward development costs in exploring indications for earlier stages of prostate cancer and will lead all global commercialization efforts for Asentar. Novacea will provide medical support to Schering-Plough's commercial operations for Asentar in the U.S., including deployment of their Medical Science Liaisons, which will be funded by Schering-Plough.