UPDATE 1-QLT gets rights to sell Visudyne in US

Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:34am EDT

* QLT-Novartis restructure partnership agreement

* QLT to get rights to sell and market Visudyne in US

* Novartis to have rights outside US

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Canadian eye-care company QLT Inc (QLT.TO) (QLTI.O) said it restructured its pact with Novartis Pharma AG (NOVN.VX), giving it exclusive rights to sell anti-blindness treatment Visudyne in the United States.

The company, which shares revenue from Visudyne sales with global marketing partner Novartis, said it will also have rights to all end-user revenue derived from Visudyne sales in the country.

Novartis will have marketing and sales rights in all countries outside of the United States, the company said.

Novartis will also pay QLT a royalty of 20 percent of ex-US net sales until 2014, and thereafter pay 16 percent of ex-US net sales until 2019.

"This restructure will allow us to directly influence Visudyne sales in the U.S. by establishing a small focused sales force centered on retinal specialists," QLT's Chief Executive Bob Butchofsky said.

As part of the agreement, QLT and Novartis have released each other from all open claims, including QLT's litigation with Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and General Hospital Corp, the company said in a statement.

Shares of QLT, which have gained about 71 percent in last three months, closed at C$4.10 Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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