Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: VRTX) and Alios BioPharma Inc. on Monday announced a licensing agreement, adding two distinct nucleotide analogues to Vertex’s hepatitis C portfolio. The compounds, discovered by Alios and known as ALS-2200 and ALS-2158, are potential treatments of the hepatitis C virus.
As part of the agreement, Vertex will make an up-front payment of $60 million to South San Francisco-based Alios, in exchange for the worldwide rights to ALS-2200 and ALS-2158. Vertex will take on development costs and research funding, as well as up to $715 million in milestone payments if both compounds are approved. Cambridge, Mass.-based Vertex already expects to pay about $35 million in development milestones in 2011.
Alios is also eligible to receive up to $750 million in sales milestones.