Idenix stands to earn up to $416 million in success-based fees.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) obtained exclusive, worldwide rights to Idenix Pharmaceuticals’ Phase II HIV treatment with an initial payment of $34 million. Idenix will be eligible to receive up to $416 million in development, regulatory, and sales milestones.

Under the terms of the license, GSK will assume all development responsibility and associated costs for IDX899. If successfully developed and commercialized, Idenix will receive double-digit, tiered worldwide royalties.

The $34 million up-front payment by GSK to Idenix was split evenly between cash and the purchase of Idenix common stock at $6.87 per share. Idenix closed yesterday at $6.45 and opened trading today at $6.74.

IDX899 is a novel non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. To date it has demonstrated high potency with low milligram doses, a high barrier to drug resistance, favorable risk/benefit profile, and the convenience of once-a-day administration, according to the companies.

This transaction will allow Idenix to focus on its HCV assets, which include drug candidates from the three major classes of direct-acting HCV antivirals. IDX184 is a nucleoside polymerase inhibitor in Phase I/II studies. IDX136 and IDX316 belong to the firm’s protease inhibitor discovery program and will soon begin IND-enabling pharmacology and toxicology studies. IDX375, a non-nucleoside inhibitor, is also in IND-enabling studies.

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