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GEN News Highlights : Jul 10, 2009

Vertex Contemplates Giving Up Milestones Worth $250M for a One-Time Cash Payment

Fees are linked to approval and launch of HCV therapy telaprevir in Europe.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals intends to sell rights to certain milestones tied to the HCV candidate being developed with Janssen in exchange for what it reports to be a high percentage of those fees. The firm will retain commercial rights to telaprevir in North America.

As part of a collaboration signed in June 2006 to develop and commercialize telaprevir, Janssen agreed to pay Vertex $250 million for successful development and launch of telaprevir in the EU. Vertex anticipated $100 million related to regulatory filing and approval and $150 million related to launch. Vertex says that it could achieve these milestones prior to April 2012.

Telaprevir is being evaluated in three Phase III studies that have enrolled more than 2,200 patients in the U.S. and Europe. The telaprevir dosing portion of all of these studies has been completed, and sustained viral response data is expected to be available in mid-2010. This will support NDA and MAA filings during the second half of 2010.