Developing a drug to correct atrial fibrillation, a dangerous abnormal heart rhythm, is the subject of a collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and two Japanese firms.
The licensing deal for NTC-801, worth up to $345 million (Â£242 million), involves two Tokyo companies, Nissan Chemical Industries and Teijin Pharm.
The drug is intended to stop a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart begin quivering rather than beating effectively.
It does so by changing the chambers’ electrical properties to restore normal heart rhythm. Over two million Americans have the disorder, which can cause strokes.
New York-based Bristol-Myers, which has its research headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, will be given exclusive rights to both the drug and some backup compounds worldwide, except in Japan.
The Japanese companies will get an upfront payment of $40 million, another $170 million in payments if they reach testing milestones, up to $175 million more for sales-based milestones, and royalties.
Copyright Press Association 2009