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University's Anti-Viral Drug Acquired In £1.6bn takeover

University's Anti-Viral Drug Acquired In £1.6bn takeover

Leading global pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb has completed the takeover of US-based biotechnology firm Inhibitex and has acquired the hugely promising anti-viral drug identified by Professor Chris McGuigan's group in Cardiff University's School of Pharmacy.


The drug, INX-189 has already passed through many of the regulatory hurdles needed to bring a new drug to market and is significantly more effective than current treatments for Hepatitis-C which is a major global health concern affecting more than 170m patients worldwide. Now entering late stage trials, the drug is expected to be available for use in 2015 with this acquisition reflecting strong confidence in the efficacy of the drug and lack of harmful side effects.

Cardiff University supported the patenting of this technology and has worked closely with Prof McGuigan and Inhibitex through all stages of the commercialisation process to date. The successful candidate compound, INX-189, was first prepared in 2008 and entered the first stage of trials in 2010. Included in the license agreements have been various royalty and milestone payments which have seen financial returns to the academics involved, the University and School of Pharmacy.

Commenting on this week's acquisition, Prof McGuigan said:

"This purchase is highly significant for Cardiff University, which stands to benefit financially at each stage of the drug's progress." 

"More importantly, it will add impetus to our efforts to complete the trials of this drug, potentially offering hope to hundreds of thousands of sufferers from this terrible disease around the world."