Novacea stock rockets up on $440M deal

Novacea shares soared 70 percent this morning on the news of a particularly rich commercialization pact. Schering-Plough has agreed to pay $60 million up front and take a stake in Novacea in exchange for commercialization rights to Asentar, a prostate cancer therapy currently in a late-stage trial. In addition, Schering-Plough has agreed to a $380 million schedule of pre-commercialization milestone payments and tiered royalties. Asentar is an oral formulation of calcitriol, a hormone that exerts its effects through the vitamin D receptor. Schering-Plough will pay for new research to determine the use of Asentar at earlier stages of the disease.

"The partnership leverages Novacea's existing capabilities with Schering-Plough's experienced development, regulatory and commercial teams and will provide Novacea with an opportunity to support the commercialization of Asentar in the United States. Additionally, this agreement provides us with substantial funding for the continued development of our operations," said John P. Walker, Novacea's chairman and interim CEO.

- here's the announcement regarding the deal
- check out the report from Wall Street 24/7

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