Novartis is the latest big pharma to take the hep C train looking for a chance at a multi-billion dollar payout. It signed a pact for $440 M with Enanta Pharmaceuticals for its preclinical NS5A drug. The deal calls for $34 M upfront and a possible milestone-based payout up to $406 M more.
The Enanta drug, EDP-239, is directed to the NS5A target that should provide effects across all three hep C genotypes and does not require the use of interferon. Avoiding the use of interferon is seen as the goal by most of the leading contenders for the estimated $20 B plus hep C treatment market -- where an ever increasing crowd is now jockeying for position. See Fierce Biotech.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 21st 2012.