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Apr 25, 2007

Novartis Picks Up Cytos’ Nicotine Addiction Vaccine for Approximately $499M

  • Novartis’ acquired rights to Cytos Biotechnology’s Phase II nicotine addiction vaccine treatment in a deal potentially worth CHF 600 million, or approximately $499 million. "The vaccine market, including therapeutic vaccines, represents an increasingly attractive segment of the healthcare market and is an additional source of growth for large pharmaceutical companies," points out Mark Dyer, evp business development of Cytos.

    “Licensing our Phase II product candidate to Novartis, a top-tier healthcare company with strong inhouse vaccines' expertise, maximizes the opportunity to build CYT002-NicQb as a first-in-class product to treat nicotine addiction.”

    Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis is granted worldwide exclusive rights for CYT002-NicQb and is responsible for late-stage clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization of the vaccine.

    Cytos will receive an upfront fee of CHF 35 million, or $29 million. It is also eligible to earn up to CHF 565 million in development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments. Additionally, Cytos will earn royalties on net 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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