Novartis to pay Portola $575M for anti-clotting drug candidate

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Portola Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company developing drugs to treat cardiovascular disease, have signed an exclusive global license agreement with Novartis to develop and commercialize elinogrel, Portola's proprietary IV and oral P2Y12 ADP receptor antagonist currently in phase 2 clinical development.

The San Francisco-based Portola said its elinogrel has shown potential to offer clinical improvements over current anti-clotting drugs in helping patients avoid heart attacks and strokes.

Under terms of the agreement, the Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis will make an upfront cash payment to Portola of $75 million. Portola is eligible to receive additional cash payments totaling up to $500 million upon achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercialization milestones. Portola will also receive royalties on global net sales of elinogrel. Also, Portola said it has an option to co-promote elinogrel in the U.S.; however, this will be limited to hospitals and specialty markets.

Elinogrel is a direct acting, reversible, IV and oral P2Y12 ADP receptor antagonist in clinical development. Inhibiting the P2Y12 ADP receptor on platelets has been proven to prevent thrombosis and subsequent heart attacks, Portola said.