UPDATE 1-Sanofi to buy Dyax's drug development partner
* Dyax says retains eye drug rights outside EU
* Says Sanofi also in licensing deal with a licensee of Dyax
* Dyax shares up 10 pct
Oct 13 (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA) agreed to acquire Fovea Pharmaceuticals, which is jointly developing a drug with Dyax Corp (DYAX.O) to treat an eye indication.
Also, Sanofi entered into an exclusive collaboration and licensing deal with a Dyax's licensee, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, for rights to MM-121, an antibody to treat cancer.
Shares of Dyax jumped 10 percent to $3.72 in pre-market trade. They closed at $3.38 Monday on Nasdaq.
Dyax and Fovea were developing the drug DX-88, which is currently in an early-stage trial, for the treatment of retinal vein occlusion (RVO) induced macular edema -- swelling under the central area of the retina.
RVO is a common cause of vision loss that occurs when blood flow through a retinal vein becomes blocked, such as by a blood clot, causing fluid to build up and vision to cloud.
As part of the deal, Fovea has exclusive rights to the drug for eye treatment in the European Union, while Dyax will retain rights for all territories outside the EU.
Under the Merrimack Pharmaceuticals deal, Dyax said it is eligible to receive milestone payments associated with the development of MM-121, as well as royalties upon commercialization.
For the alerts double-click [ID:nWNAB8361] (Reporting by Anand Basu in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)
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