BMS, Oncolys ink HIV pact

Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) and Japan's Oncolys BioPharma have signed a definitive agreement for festinavir, a next-generation, orally available nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor in Phase II development for HIV.

Under the terms of the agreement, BMS will acquire exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture, develop and commercialize festinavir. In addition, Oncolys may receive up to $286 million including upfront, development, regulatory and sales milestone payments. Oncolys is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on the worldwide product sales.

"For many years I have been working for the development of medicines in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and I'm convinced that festinavir has the possibility to be a potent and effective NRTI with a promising resistance profile," says Yasuo Urata, president and CEO of Oncolys, in a statement. "Also festinavir's once-daily dosage is essential for treating HIV patients worldwide."

Festinavir was licensed to Oncolys in 2006 from Yale University.

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