Genzyme Corp. said it would spend $325 million up front in a licensing and investment pact with Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., securing partial rights to a promising cholesterol-lowering drug that could be on the market within two years.
Genzyme could make an additional $1.58 billion in payments under the agreement, but much of that would be paid only if the drug reaches $3 billion in annual sales, a high threshold for any new medicine.
The deal is the largest licensing pact reached by Genzyme, a Cambridge, Mass., biotech concern specializing in treating rare disorders. It thickens Genzyme's pipeline just weeks after Chief Executive Henri Termeer sought to quell takeover rumors that began when investor Carl Icahn took a stake in the company late last year.
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