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Old 09-28-2005, 12:50 PM
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Default AVN Aims For New Kind Of Cholesterol Drug Worth Up To $300M!!!

AVN Aims For New Kind Of Cholesterol Drug Worth Up To $300M!!!

UPDATE 1-Astra, Avanir aim for new kind of cholesterol drug

LONDON, (Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L: Quote, Profile,
Research) has signed a deal with Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVN.A:
Quote, Profile, Research) to develop a new kind of cholesterol-
lowering medicine, Europe's third largest drugmaker said on Monday.

Avanir will receive an upfront payment of $10 million and could get
milestone payments totalling $330 million if the project reaches
certain development milestones and sales targets.

The San Diego, California-based company will also be entitled to
stepped royalties, rising from single-digit to low double-digit
percentage rates depending on sales achieved.

AstraZeneca, which already sells the cholesterol fighting statin
drug Crestor, will be responsible for developing the new generation
of Reverse Cholesterol Transport (RCT) enhancing compounds.

The idea is to treat cardiovascular disease by targeting a
biological pathway that enhances the flow of cholesterol away from
blood vessel walls, where it can lead to the build-up of life-
threatening plaques.

If successful, this could potentially reverse existing vascular
disease, while current agents have to date been shown only to
prevent disease progression.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Avanir Pharmaceuticals, symbol AVN, Potential multi-billion dollar
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