) --

Neurocrine BioSciences

(NBIX) - Get Report

licensed worldwide rights to its experimental endometriosis drug to

Abbott Labs

(ABT) - Get Report

, the companies announced Wednesday.

The Neurocrine drug, known as elagolix, is in phase II studies for the relief of endometriosis-related pain. Endometriosis is a condition in which the cells that normally line the walls of the uterus grow in other parts of the body, causing pain, irregular bleeding and infertility.

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Under terms of the deal announced Wednesday, Abbott gains worldwide rights to elagolix in exchange for a $50 million upfront payment to Neurocrine. Abbott is paying all future development costs for the drug and Neurocrine is eligible for up to $500 million in future milestone payments as well as royalties based on sales of elagolix if approved.

Abbott also plans to explore development of elagolix for the treatment of uterine fibroids. The company also gains rights to next generation versions of elagolix.

Neurocrine shares closed Tuesday at $4.70.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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