COPENHAGEN Danish pharmaceutical group Lundbeck said on Tuesday it had agreed to work with Japan's Otsuka to develop and commercialize an Alzheimer's drug.
The agreement covers its Lu AE58054 treatment for the United States, Canada, East Asia including Japan, major European countries and Nordic countries, Lundbeck said in a statement.
It expands existing collaboration between the companies and Lundbeck will receive an initial payment of $150 million from Otsuka upon signing.
Lundbeck would also be entitled to as much as $675 million in regulatory and sales milestones. Both companies will share sales, development, and commercialization costs.
Lundbeck is hoping that new drugs in its pipeline will offset lost sales from antidepressant Cipralex, sold as Lexapro in the United States, as it comes off patent.
The company said last month it and Otsuka had expanded an existing collaboration to include the promotion of Abilify tablets, a schizophrenia drug, and other tablets, in 14 European countries.
They plan to begin a clinical program for Lu AE58054 later in 2013 and subsequent studies are expected towards the end of the year, Lundbeck said.
(Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)