Reckitt Benckiser has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with QLT USA for its Atrigel sustained-release drug-delivery technology which facilitates injection of pharmaceuticals for long-term release in patients.
The Atrigel system uses biodegradable polymers dissolved in biocompatible carriers, with drugs blended into this liquid at the time of manufacturing, or later by the physician at the time of use.
Under the terms of the deal, Reckitt Benckiser will pay QLT an initial fee of $25 million (13.6 million pounds), with QLT also eligible for additional milestone payments of up to $5 million contingent on the successful development of two products formulated with Atrigel.
Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals will assume operations at QLT's corporate facility together with 18 of the company's staff included as part of the agreement, while QLT will retain certain rights and prior licenses relating to the compound.
Shaun Thaxter, president of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, said: "Our exclusive licensing of the Atrigel platform underscores our long-term commitment to expanding our pharmaceutical pipeline and building upon our addiction therapy franchise."
He added this deal marks a strategic business opportunity for the company that will contribute to its continued growth and longevity of the firm.
Last month, Reckitt Benckiser announced its financial results for the first half of the 2008 fiscal year, with the company reporting net revenues of 3,074 million pounds.