Novartis completes agreement with Bayer Schering related to Betaseron rights and manufacturing


Novartis has completed an agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma AG (Bayer Schering) related to various rights for the multiple sclerosis treatment Betaseron® (interferon beta-1b) and has received a one-time payment of approximately USD 200 million.

As part of the transaction, which was announced in March 2007, Novartis has transferred manufacturing responsibility to Bayer Schering for interferon beta-1b and received the one-time payment for the transfer of production equipment, inventory and the leasing of buildings at a site in Emeryville, California.

Novartis will continue to receive royalties until October 2008 from Bayer Schering for its global sales of Betaseron, which is an injectable treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis - a disease estimated to affect more than 2.5 million patients worldwide and one of the leading causes of neurological disability in young adults.

Novartis will be supported by Bayer Schering in the regulatory filing process of a Novartis-branded version of Betaseron, and this product is expected to be introduced in 2009. The launch of this brand is expected to give Novartis an increasing presence in treating patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis ahead of its anticipated submission of a once-daily oral therapy FTY720 (fingolimod), which is currently in Phase III trials. Novartis expects to submit FTY720 for US and EU approvals in 2009.

Betaseron is currently marketed by Bayer Schering, which was created after Bayer acquired Schering in 2006. In 1993, Schering signed an agreement with Chiron Corporation (Chiron) covering the regulatory filing, development and supply of Betaseron. Novartis acquired Chiron in 2006. Novartis assumed the rights to this product through the purchase of Chiron.

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