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Vertex adds to HCV pipeline with Alios deal

June 13, 2011 11:56 PM UTC

Alios BioPharma Inc. (South San Francisco, Calif.) granted Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VRTX) exclusive, worldwide rights to preclinical HCV candidates ALS-2200 and ALS-2158. Alios will receive $60 million up front, and is eligible for up to $1.5 billion in milestones, plus tiered royalties. The partners plan to start clinical testing of the nucleotide HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitors in 4Q11. Vertex will be responsible for all development costs and will provide Alios with research funding.

Vertex said it could potentially develop the compounds as part of combination therapy with its approved and investigational HCV compounds, including Incivek telaprevir and VX-222. Incivek, a small molecule HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitor, was approved in the U.S. last month. VX-222, a non-nucleoside HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitor, is in Phase II testing. Alios was founded in 2007 (see BioCentury, May 24, 2010). ...