* Signs deal on cancer drugs with Novartis
* To get $45 mln in upfront payment
* To get double-digit royalties on sales outside U.S.
* Array shares up 26 percent after the bell
April 19 (Reuters) - Array BioPharma Inc (ARRY.O) said it signed a licensing deal worth up to $467 million for its experimental cancer drug candidates with Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG NOVN.VX, sending its shares up 26 percent in extended trade.
The deal, which includes an early-stage candidate ARRY-162 and other MEK inhibitors, entitles Array to $45 million in upfront payments and $422 million in milestones.
Array, which is eligible to double-digit royalties on sales of the approved products outside the United States, plans to co-develop ARRY-162 and fund part of the development costs.
If Array meets its co-funding obligations, it becomes eligible for a “significantly higher” royalty rate on sales in the United States.
The company, which focuses on developing drugs to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases, continues to be successful in partnering its pipeline. It partnered its experimental diabetes drug with Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) last December. Shares of Array were up at $3.80 in post-market trade. They closed at $3.02 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)