Early Christmas for Santarus

Shares rise on a licensing deal.
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Santarus (SNTS) surged 11% after the drug company licensed a low-dose, over-the-counter version of its Zegerid heartburn drug to Schering-Plough (SGP) .

San Diego-based Santarus will receive a $15 million upfront license fee payable following the effective date of the agreement and may receive up to an additional $65 million in milestone payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. It will also get royalties.

Schering-Plough will be responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of over-the-counter Zegerid products with the lower dosage strength of 20 milligrams of omeprazole for heartburn-related indications.

Santarus will continue to manufacture, promote and sell Zegerid products in both 40 mg and 20 mg dosage strengths of omeprazole for their approved prescription indications in the U.S. prescription market for proton pump inhibitor products.

Santarus rose $1.02 to $9.47.