BASEL, Switzerland (
is buying privately held U.S. biopharmaceutical firm
, gaining exclusive rights to Relaxin, an experimental heart drug.
Novartis, the Swiss drugmaker, said Wednesday it will pay $120 million for Corthera, with additional payments of $500 million if the drug meets development and commercialization milestones.
Relaxin is currently in Phase III clinical trials as a potential treatment option for patients with acute decompensated heart failure.
Novartis said it will assume full responsibility for the development and commercialization of Relaxin, and expects to submit the drug for regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe in 2013.
The Food and Drug Administration has granted fast-track designation to Relaxin, Novartis said.
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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