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GSK and Actelion enter into R&D partnership

GlaxoSmithKline has entered into an agreement with Swiss-based pharma company, Actelion
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has entered into an agreement with Swiss-based pharma company, Actelion, to further R&D into almorexant, a novel new medicine currently in phase III development for the treatment of insomnia.

Under terms of the agreement, GSK will get exclusive rights to co-develop and co-commercialise almorexant, a drug that has, up until the new collaborative agreement, been developed by Actelion. GSK will contribute about 40 per cent of the R&D costs and Actelion will continue to lead the development programme of almorexant, an orexin receptor antagonist for the treatment of primary insomnia.

Dr Moncef Slaoui, chairman of R&D at GSK, said: "GSK and Actelion both share a vision - based on our individual research efforts - that orexin receptor antagonists have tremendous potential."

Actelion will receive an upfront payment of CHF150m (Swiss Francs) - approximately £66m - and will be eligible for additional milestone payments that could total up-to CHF415m. The company could also receive additional milestone payments relating to the developmental success of two further indications for almorexant that have yet to be clinically assessed.

If Actelion is successful in developing the drug for all three indications, the firm could stand to receive total milestone payments of CHF2.735bn.

14th July 2008

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