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Novartis Gets Rights For Potential Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Cell Therapy

Novartis (NVS) said that it reached an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Mesoblast (MESO) to develop, commercialize and manufacture remestemcel-L for the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS, including that associated with COVID-19.

Novartis said it will make a $25 million upfront payment and invest $25 million in Mesoblast equity with additional payments and royalties due on achievement of agreed development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

In addition, Novartis will provide certain support to enable commercial manufacturing scale-up.

Mesoblast said it may receive a total of US$505 million pending achievement of precommercialization milestones for ARDS indications. Mesoblast may receive additional payments post-commercialization of up to US$750 million based on achieving certain sales milestones and tiered double-digit royalties on product sales.

Mesoblast said it will retain full rights and economics for remestemcel-L for graft versus host disease or GVHD, and Novartis has an option to, if exercised, become the commercial distributor outside of Japan.

The companies have rights to co-fund development and commercialization for other non-respiratory indications.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a clinical syndrome that represents a final common pathway for lung injury caused by a variety of factors including bacterial and viral infection, including COVID-19.

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