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Genome Therapeutics, Schering-Plough Extend Asthma Research Alliance

NEW YORK, Jan 2—Genome Therapeutics and Schering-Plough have extended their genomics-based research alliance for asthma drug discovery for an additional year, Genome Therapeutics said on Wednesday.


The research alliance is a multi-year program focused on discovering asthma susceptibility genes and using the data to develop preventive therapies and treatments for the disorder. The sponsored research partnership, originally scheduled to conclude at the end of 2001, will now be continued through the end of 2002.


By the terms of the agreement, Schering-Plough paid an upfront license fee, makes milestone payments, and will pay royalties on sales of any new therapeutic products. Genome Therapeutics has been paid $33 million through the deal as of Sept. 29, 2001, and may ultimately receive a total of more than $80 million, excluding royalties.


In February 2001, the two companies announced that they had discovered a new asthma susceptibility gene. The gene was discovered with Genome Therapeutics' positional cloning platform, which integrates high throughput genotyping and SNP discovery with advanced statistical genetics.

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