Portola could earn up to $500 million in success-based fees.

Novartis will make an up-front $75 million payment for Portola’s mid-stage anticlotting agent. Novartis believes that the compound, called elinogrel, is an improvement on currently marketed drugs. The firm also agreed to pay up to $500 million in development, regulatory, and commercialization milestones.

Under this exclusive, worldwide agreement, Novartis will share the costs of the ongoing Phase II trial but will be fully responsible for Phase III development, manufacturing, and commercialization. Portola is eligible to additional payments based on achieving defined development and commercialization milestones and also royalties.

Portola has an option to co-promote elinogrel in the U.S. limited to hospitals and specialty markets and an option to co-fund Phase III trials and other development activities in return for additional royalties.

Elinogrel belongs to a class of cardiovascular medicines that seek to prevent blood platelets circulating in the arterial system from sticking together and forming potentially dangerous clots. Clinical trials are planned for elinogrel in patients with acute coronary syndromes, a prior heart attack or stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Elinogrel is being developed as oral and intravenous formulations. It has an instant onset of action that could quickly provide protection from clotting, according to the companies. Elinogrel’s effect is also reportedly reversible, which may offer physicians a way to rapidly reverse its anti-clotting actions when necessary.


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