Idenix gets back Novartis' option on hot hep C work

Idenix ($IDIX) and Novartis ($NVS) have agreed to terminate the pharma giant's option rights outlined in a 9-year-old licensing pact. Under a revised agreement, Novartis--which owns 31% of Idenix--will gain a royalty stream on approved hep C drug that comes out of the biotech. And Novartis gets a non-exclusive agreement that would open the way to new trials studying combinations of their drugs. Earlier this year the FDA lifted a partial hold on the hep C drug IDX184, one of a number of promising treatments that could help revolutionize treatment. "This agreement affords Idenix increased flexibility to optimize the value of our pipeline for the benefit of Idenix, our shareholders and ultimately HCV patients," said Idenix president and CEO Ron Renaud. "By regaining the worldwide rights to develop, commercialize and license all of our drug candidates, we believe Idenix will be well-positioned to develop pan-genotypic all-oral direct-acting antiviral combination treatments with potential collaborators." Release