Enanta enters into strategic collaboration to advance NS5A inhibitor candidate for HCV

Date: 21/02/2012

Watertown, Mass., USA, February 21, 2012 – Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today that it has entered into an exclusive collaboration and license agreement with Novartis for the worldwide development, manufacture and commercialization of its lead development candidate, EDP-239, from its NS5A hepatitis C virus (HCV) inhibitor program. Enanta has received IND approval for EDP-239 from the FDA.

NS5A, a clinically validated target, is a non-structural viral protein that is essential to viral replication. Research efforts have shown that targeting NS5A gives rise to profound antiviral activity, and as a result, this protein has emerged as an important target for antiviral drug development. Enanta’s NS5A program and intellectual property estate in the HCV field were derived from its internal drug discovery efforts.  EDP-239, Enanta’s lead candidate targeting NS5A was most recently recognized on Windhover’s list of the “Top Most Interesting Infectious Disease Projects to Watch”.

Under the terms of the agreement, Enanta will receive an upfront payment of $34 million and is eligible to receive up to $406 million if certain clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones are met. Enanta is also eligible to receive tiered double-digit royalties on worldwide sales of products, and retains co-detail rights in the United States. Novartis will be responsible for all costs associated with the development, manufacture and commercialization of EDP-239 and will fund Enanta’s drug discovery efforts on certain additional compounds targeting NS5A.

Please find the press release here.