Launch in the U.S. is scheduled for early 2010.

Novartis is paying Vanda Pharmaceuticals $200 million up front for exclusive U.S. and Canadian rights to the FDA-sanctioned oral schizophrenia drug Fanapt™ (iloperidone).  Vanda will also be eligible for development and commercialization milestones as well as royalties on sales.

FDA approval for Fanapt was granted in May. Novartis says that it plans to launch the drug in the U.S. during early 2010.

Vanda retains the right to develop and commercialize Fanapt outside the U.S. and Canada. Novartis, however, has an option to discuss either potential joint commercialization of the drug outside North America regions or the receipt of sales royalties.

The deal gives Novartis exclusive rights to develop and commercialize a long-acting injectable formulation of iloperidone in its licensed territories. Fanapt is a dopamine D2/serotonin 5HT2A receptor antagonist, classed as an atypical antipsychotic.

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