Altus signs development deal with Genentech

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Altus Pharmaceuticals Altus Pharmaceuticals Inc. will make at least $15 million in a new development deal signed with biotechnology giant Genentech Inc. to create treatments for human growth hormone deficiency.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Altus (Nasdaq: ALTU) announced on Wednesday that it would work with Calfornia-based Genentech (NYSE: DNA) to develop, manufacture and commercialize ALTU-238, Altus' once-per week formulation of human growth hormone.

The alliance focuses on a collaboration and licensing deal in North America, and Genentech will pay Altus $15 million up front; The company gets another $15 million through a Genentech investment in Altus stock. Altus can make up to $140 million more if the collaboration produces milestones in development and commercialization.

More money could come down the pipeline long-term because Genentech also gets a global commercialization option for ALTU-238. If the option is exercised, Altus is eligible to receive more than $110 million of upfront and milestone payments.

The companies envision co-promoting and marketing ALTU-238 in North America, and Genentech will handle development and commercialization costs for the drug.

Altus estimates the global market for recombinant human growth hormone surpassed $2.5 billion in 2005.

The drug recently completed a Phase II clinical trial that produced promising results. A treatment must successfully finish Phase III testing before it is submitted to federal regulators for approval.

source - BizJournals