Genzyme gains MS drug rights in $2.8B deal

Genzyme has scooped up key worldwide rights to the leukemia drug Campath--which is being studied as a treatment for MS--and two cancer therapies from its development partner Bayer HealthCare in a deal with a potential $2.8 billion payout.

Bayer could get up to $1.25 billion if Campath is approved as a treatment for MS. Bayer, which will continue to cover some of the development costs, can also gain up to $900 million in sales milestones--unless Genzyme exercises an option to buy out that agreement. There's another $650 million available for revenue goals on all three therapies. Bayer retains an option on co-promotion rights to the drug for MS.

"Alemtuzumab is a potentially transformative therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, and an important part of our future. This strategic transaction clarifies the responsibilities of each company and gives Genzyme control over the execution of this program," said Henri A. Termeer, chairman and CEO of Genzyme. "We will continue to collaborate with Bayer in a more streamlined and focused way."

The deal also gives Genzyme two oncology therapies: Fludara and Leukine. Genzyme will acquire a new, Seattle-area Leukine manufacturing facility for $75 to $100 million and hire the plant's operating personnel following FDA plant approval, which is expected in 2010. Bayer says it will now focus its oncology work on kidney and liver cancer drug Nexavar and other development products.

- read the press release for more info

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