Novartis enters into $265-million schizophrenia drug deal with Vanda

Novartis Pharma AG said yesterday that it has entered into a $265-million agreement with Vanda Pharmaceuticals for exclusive rights for the US and Canada to Vanda's schizophrenia drug Fanapt.

Fanapt, a new oral medication, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the acute treatment of adults with schizophrenia, will be launched by Novartis in the US in early 2010.

Novartis will pay Vanda $200 million upfront and an additional $65 million in other payments if the drug meets certain development and sales milestones. Vanda will also be paid royalties from Fanapt net sales in the US and Canada.

This is the second exclusive marketing rights that the Basel-based pharmaceutical company Novartis is concluding this month.

On 8 October, Novartis signed exclusive worldwide marketing rights to an experimental antibiotic to treat infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria from privately held Boston, Massachusetts-based Paratek Pharmaceuticals for a reported sum of $485 million in milestones and fees combined. (See: Novartis acquires global marketing rights for new drug from Paratek)

As part of the agreement with Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis will have exclusive commercialization rights to the oral formulation of this medicine in the US and Canada as well as exclusive rights to develop and commercialize a long-acting injectable (or depot) formulation of this medicine for these markets.

Rockville, Maryland-based Vanda will keep the rights to sell Fanapt outside Canada and the US.