Santarus granted Schering-Plough HealthCare Products exclusive rights to commercialize Zegerid® branded immediate-release omeprazole products for the OTC market in the U.S. and Canada. Schering reports that according to A.C. Nielsen, a market research firm, the OTC market for heartburn products was approximately $1.1 billion for the 12 months ending mid-August 2006.
Schering-Plough will be responsible for the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of OTC Zegerid products with the lower dosage strength of 20 mg of omeprazole for heartburn-related indications.
Under the terms of the agreement, which are subject to review, Santarus will receive a $15-million upfront license fee payable following the effective date of the agreement and may receive up to an additional $65 million in milestone payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. Santarus will also receive a royalty, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances, on net sales of any Zegerid OTC products sold by Schering-Plough under the license agreement. A portion of these royalties will be paid to the University of Missouri pursuant to a license agreement between Santarus and the University of Missouri.
Santarus will continue to manufacture, promote, and sell Zegerid products in both 40-mg and 20-mg dosage strengths of omeprazole for their approved prescription indications in the U.S. for proton pump inhibitor products.