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Roche, Agouron in Pact for HIV Treatment

CALIFORNIA | HEALTH | THE STATE

January 21, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Swiss drug maker Roche Holding said it signed an agreement with Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. that will give it exclusive rights to sell the U.S. drug maker's Viracept HIV treatment in Europe. Roche said it will pay $9 million each to La Jolla-based Agouron and to Japan Tobacco Inc., with which Agouron developed Viracept, and will pay an additional $11 million to each upon European clearance of the drug. Agouron filed for U.S. approval of Viracept in December, and is expected to file for European approval in several countries later this year. Viracept, a synthetic chemical compound designed to treat the symptoms of the HIV virus, complements Roche's own Invirase HIV treatment. Invirase was the first so-called protease inhibitor to be approved in the U.S. in 1995.

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