Octoplus will provide manufacturing and process development services and stands to earn $138 million in milestones.

Biolex Therapeutics is paying OctoPlus $11 million for its 50% share of commercial rights to Locteron for hepatitis C. Biolex also agreed to pay up to $138 million in development and sales milestones. Additionally, OctoPlus will receive an equity stake in Biolex of up to 3.0%.

Separately, Biolex reported the close of a $60 million series D financing that will support ongoing Phase II testing of Locteron and prepare the compound for Phase III development.

Under the original 2005 deal, Biolex and OctoPlus shared the commercial rights to Locteron. The revised agreement transfers full responsibility for development and commercialization to Biolex. OctoPlus will retain a royalty interest in the candidate and provide manufacturing and process development services.

Locteron is a controlled-release interferon alfa designed to improve patient care in the treatment of hepatitis C through a more favorable side-effect profile and dosing convenience compared to existing pegylated interferon products, Biolex explains. It combines BLX-883, a recombinant interferon alfa produced by Biolex, with PolyActive®, an advanced controlled-release drug delivery technology developed by OctoPlus.

Locteron is configured to allow dosing once-every-two-weeks, while currently marketed pegylated interferon alfa products require dosing every week, Biolex reports.

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