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Licence deal for anti-Hepatitis drugs

30 Tachwedd 2007

US-based pharmaceutical company Inhibitex has set up an exclusive worldwide licence agreement for anti-Hepatitis drugs developed at Cardiff.

Inhibitex has entered the agreement with the University and Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium for intellectual property covering a series of highly potent hepatitis C virus (HCV) polymerase inhibitors.

In vitro studies have shown that the licensed compounds are among the most potent HCV polymerase inhibitors in development. They were discovered in the laboratories of Professor Chris McGuigan, at the Welsh School of Pharmacy and Professor Johan Neyts of the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven.

Inhibitex Chief Scientific Officer Dr Joseph M. Patti said: "This exclusive license expands our collaborative relationships with two leaders in the field of antiviral research, Cardiff University and the Rega Institute. We are very pleased with the addition of these compounds to our pipeline, which includes a number of promising infectious disease development programs with the potential to provide meaningful benefits to large patient populations."

Professor McGuigan said: "There is no current cure for Hepatitis C, and the World Health Organisation estimates some 123 million people are presently affected. This licence to Inhibitex will fund further work and trials of drugs developed here in Cardiff which look more promising than existing anti-Hepatitis drugs."

"This deal follows on from Inhibitex’s recent buy-out of the Cardiff-developed anti-shingles drug FV100, which is now subject to clinical trials."

Under the terms of the agreement, Inhibitex obtained the intellectual property in exchange for an upfront licence fee, future milestone payments and royalties on future net sales.

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