Genentech has signed a deal that could be worth up to $140 million with Altus Pharmaceuticals giving it access to the latter firm’s growth hormone product.

Under the terms of the agreement, which covers the development and marketing of ALTU-238 and is confined to North America, Genentech will make an upfront payment of $15 million and is also making a similar investment in equity. The $140 million total will be dependent on the completion of development and commercial milestones.

ALTU-238 is a subcutaneously administered, once-per-week formulation of human growth hormone, which employs Altus' proprietary protein crystallization and formulation technology. The firm’s chief executive, Sheldon Berkle, described the deal as "an important strategic move that we believe further validates ALTU-238." He added that "Genentech's development experience as well as their knowledge of the regulatory and commercial environments for growth hormone products should contribute to even greater potential" for the treatment.