UK drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has linked arms with NanoBio Corporation under a $54 million exclusive licensing deal for a developmental, over-the-counter cold sore treatment.

The drugmaker has shelled out an initial $14.5 million for exclusive rights to sell the product, currently known as NB-001, in the US and Canada following regulatory approval, providing the financial muscle to enable its development and commercialisation to the fullest potential.

Under wider terms of the deal, NanoBio is also eligible to receive milestone payments of up to $40 million plus single digit royalties on future sales should the product make it to market.

NB-001 is a novel, patented compound that, according to GSK, represents “the next advance” in the treatment of cold sores, providing “significant antimicrobial activity” against the virus that causes them. NanoBio has already taken the treatment through Phase II development, in which it showed “clear efficacy and a good safety profile”, and Phase III testing is planned soon.

GSK already sells the cold sore therapy Abreva, which, it claims, is the only treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration proven to shorten healing time, and according to Roger Scarlett-Smith, President of GSK Consumer Healthcare North America, the company is looking forward “to building on that platform with this new technology from NanoBio”.

Broadens arthritis deal
Meanwhile, it also emerged yesterday that the UK group has also broadened its arthritis alliance with Belgian group Galapagos NV again to include extra discovery programmes based on the novel target GT622, pushing the total value of the deal to over 200 million euros (excluding royalties).

Galapagos stands to pocket an extra 6.5 million euros because of the extension to the existing partnership, which was initially formed in 2006, as well as additional success-based milestones and royalties from any future product sales.

The decision to expand the programme was spurred by the delivery of the first clinical candidate under the alliance - GLPG0555 - earlier this year, as the companies said they were “encouraged” by its promising mode of action.

“With the candidate GLPG0555 in the clinic, this was the right moment to broaden the program and increase development efforts,” explained Onno van de Stolpe, Chief Executive Officer of Galapagos, and added: “Through the EUR 6.5 million payment and milestones for additional molecules ahead of us, this alliance is well financed and in excellent shape to progress novel arthritis candidate drugs into the clinic.”