Procter & Gamble has signed a deal with South Korea’s Dong Wha Pharmaceutical Ind Co which gives the US firm the rights to develop and commercialise a novel class of molecules, led by its DW1350 compound, for the treatment of osteoporosis.

Under the terms of agreement, Dong Wha is granting P&G exclusive rights to the compounds, excluding specific countries in Asia, and will receive an upfront fee, development and commercial milestone payments that could reach $511 million, excluding royalties. The firms may also negotiate an agreement in which Dong Wha would have an opportunity to supply active pharmaceutical ingredient and finished products to P&G.

Kil-Joon Yoon, Dong Wha’s chief executive, described the deal as “a major milestone in our process for becoming a global pharmaceutical company", saying that P&G's profound understanding of patient need, together with its

proven product development skills in the osteoporosis field, makes them an ideal partner". Tom Finn, president of global health care at P&G, said that "Dong Wha's approach to scientific discovery and the potential of this new class of compounds as a novel treatment for osteoporosis is very impressive and a perfect fit as we look to broaden our portfolio in the musculoskeletal therapeutic area".

The latter is made up of treatments such as the osteoarthritis drugs Didronel (etidronate) and Actonel (risedronate).