Vertex Selling Telaprevir Payment Rights
Cambridge, MA-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) revealed today its plans to raise cash through the sale of rights to $250 million in milestone payments it could receive for successfully developing and launching its experimental hepatitis C treatment, telaprevir, in Europe, according to a press release. No buyer of the rights was announced. Vertex gained rights to the payments through its 2006 collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceutica, a unit of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), which agreed to pay Vertex $100 million if telaprevir garners European approval and $150 million upon the launch of the drug in Europe in exchange for European marketing rights. Here is a story from the In Vivo Blog with some insights about why selling rights to these milestone payments may make sense for Vertex.