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* Glaxo can license specified inflammatory drugs
* Pact covers drugs developed using aptamer technology
* Archemix gets $27.5 mln, and up to $200 mln in milestones
* Archemix lined up to merge with NitroMed
LONDON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) has secured options to license a number of drug candidates for inflammatory diseases after signing a development pact with U.S.-based Archemix it said on Tuesday.
Privately held Archemix, which is poised to merge with U.S. heart drug company NitroMed NTMD.O, specialises in so-called aptamer technology, which tackles diseases by binding to proteins.
Under the deal with Glaxo, which covers a number of proteins linked to inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, Archemix gets a $27.5 million upfront payment and up to $200 million in milestones.
Archemix has agreements with a number of major pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer (PFE.N) and Eli Lilly (LLY.N), for treatments in a range of disease areas using its aptamer technology. (Reporting by Ben Deighton; Editing by Hans Peters)