Novartis options BeiGene anti-cancer therapy in $1 billion deal

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Novartis's logo is seen at the cell and gene therapy factory of the Swiss drugmaker in Stein, Switzerland, November 28, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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ZURICH, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Novartis (NOVN.S) has signed an option, collaboration and licence agreement with BeiGene Ltd (6160.HK) for anti-cancer therapy ociperlimab (BGB-A1217) to expand its activities in immuno-oncology, the Swiss drugmaker said on Monday.

Under terms of the agreement, Novartis will make an upfront payment to BeiGene of $300 million and pay a fee of up to $700 million if the option is exercised before late 2023 for ociperlimab, now being evaluated in two Phase III lung cancer trials and additional studies in a wide range of solid tumors.

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Reporting by Michael Shields. Editing by Jane Merriman

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