Schering-Plough said on Friday that it was changing the terms of its co-promotion agreement with Millennium Pharmaceuticals for the cardiovascular drug, Integrilin (eptifibatide), which the two companies have co-promoted since 2002.

Under the terms of the new deal, Schering-Plough will pay Millennium an upfront payment of $35.5 million dollars and future royalties in return for the exclusive rights to development and commercialise the product in the USA.

Minimum royalty payments for 2006 and 2007 are set at $85 million, albeit certain extraordinary conditions could reduce these amounts. In addition, Schering-Plough will pay Millennium around $45 to $50 million for the purchase of existing Integrilin inventories. The agreement is subject an antitrust review and is expected to become effective on 1 September.

“We have said before that building strength in our cardiovascular portfolio would be a key driver of our Action Agenda to transform Schering-Plough into a high-performance company for the long term… We are moving steadily toward our goal,” said Fred Hassan, Schering-Plough’s chairman and chief executive.

Schering-Plough recorded $325 million in Integrilin sales in 2004, $301 million of which were in the US. Last month, Millennium reacquired the drug’s European marketing rights from Schering-Plough, which it subsequently licensed to GlaxoSmithKline [[24/06/04f]].