Gilead collaborates with Genelabs to develop hepatitis C drugs
October 06 2004 12:00 AM ET
Pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences on Thursday announced a research collaboration and licensing agreement with Genelabs Technologies to develop and market hepatitis C treatments. Genelabs will lead the research efforts, while Gilead will lead development and commercialization efforts for the compounds, which aim to inhibit hepatitis C virus polymerase, a key enzyme the virus uses to copy itself. Gilead agreed to pay $8 million and fund the research on the compounds for the next three years in exchange for exclusive access to certain compounds developed in the program. Gilead will receive exclusive worldwide license rights and will pay Genelabs a royalty on any net sales of future products arising from the collaboration. About 170 million people worldwide currently have chronic hepatitis C, which can cause liver damage, liver cancer, and death. Hepatitis C is a common coinfection among HIV-positive people, particularly injection-drug users.