Further development costs of Phase II topical antifungal treatment will be borne by Schering-Plough.

Anacor Pharmaceuticals signed a deal with Schering-Plough for the development and commercialization of its topical antifungal therapy. AN2690 is in Phase II trials for onychomycosis, an infection of the nail and nail bed.

“As we advance further in the transformation of Schering-Plough, we are intensifying our focus on business development and licensing,” comments Fred Hassan, chairman and CEO, Schering-Plough. “Our goal is to see approximately half of our pipeline consist of innovations from other companies’ labs.”

AN2690 was identified with Anacor’s boron chemistry platform. Results to date have shown that the drug is well tolerated and highly potent, with patients who received the treatment demonstrating significant clear nail growth, according to Anacor.

Under the exclusive, worldwide agreement, Anacor will receive $40 million upfront plus a $10-million commitment. It is also eligible to receive payments potentially exceeding $575 million for development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. In addition, the company will receive double-digit royalties on future sales.

Schering-Plough will assume all costs for the drug’s development for onychomycosis and other indications. Anacor retains an option to co-promote the drug in the U.S. “The co-promote option gives Anacor the opportunity to build a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company in the future,” remarks David Perry, CEO of Anacor.

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