Immtech, Par Sign License Pact

Par will commercialize a treatment for pneumocystis pneumonia.
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Immtech Pharmaceuticals (IMM) said Tuesday that it granted an exclusive license to Par Pharmaceutical (PRX) to commercialize a treatment for pneumocystis pneumonia in AIDS patients in the U.S.

Par gave Immtech an initial payment of $3 million, and it will make a $29 million payment as pafuramidine maleate advances through ongoing phase III clinical trials and the Food and Drug Administration's review process.

New York-based Immtech, which retained the right to co-market the drug in the U.S., can also look forward to royalties and up to $115 million tied to sales milestones.

Immtech and Par, of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., said they may also collaborate to develop pafuramidine as a preventive therapy for patients at risk for developing pneumocystis pneumonia, a deadly fungal infection in the lungs.

Aside from being found in people with HIV, pneumocystis pneumonia can be brought on by cancer or immunosuppressive therapy.

"There is a strong fit between Par's commercial, marketing and sales capabilities and pafuramidine's potential to make a sustainable difference in treating this deadly disease," said Daniel M. Schmitt, Immtech's vice president for licensing and commercial development. "Ultimately, patients will benefit from our collaboration."

Immtech climbed 31 cents, or 4.5%, to $7.20, while Par was up 7 cents, or 0.3%, to $28.81.