Acusphere Inc. of Watertown, Mass., this week entered into a collaboration, license and supply agreement with Nycomed of Roskilde, Denmark for the European development and marketing rights to Acusphere's lead product candidate AI-700. AI-700 is an ultrasound contrast agent currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for assessing myocardial perfusion in the diagnosis of coronary heart disease.
As part of the agreement, Nycomed will provide $70 million in license fees, research and development funding, and milestone payments, including $12 million in payments over the first two years. These near-term payments include $4 million in upfront license fees and $8 million in research and development funding payable in eight equal quarterly installments. An additional $58 million in milestone payments are related to regulatory approvals and achievement of certain sales goals.
In addition, Acusphere will be paid to manufacture the product for Nycomed and will receive royalties on Nycomed's sales of AI-700. Nycomed will be responsible for sales, marketing and the regulatory submissions required for marketing throughout its sales territory, which includes the member states of the European Union, as well as Russia/CIS and Turkey.
In 2002, an estimated 9.5 million procedures in the U.S. and 1.5 to 2.0 million procedures in Europe were performed to screen patients with suspected coronary heart disease, primarily using nuclear imaging. AI-700-enhanced ultrasound is being developed as a cost-effective alternative to nuclear imaging.