Par unit buys licensing rights for malignant mesothelioma drug from Alfacell

Par Pharmaceutical Companies Inc.'s (NYSE:PRX) proprietary products division said Tuesday it has acquired the exclusive licensing and commercialization rights to Onconase from Alfacell Corp. (NASDAQ:ACEL) Onconase is a drug used in the treatment of inoperable malignant mesothelioma currently in Phase III development.

Under the terms of the agreement, Par's Strativa Pharmaceuticals unit will make an initial payment of $5 million to Alfacell.

It will also pay an additional $30 million upon approval of the drug by the Food and Drug Administration.Alfacell will retain the right to co-promote Onconase in the future and is also entitled to royalty payments from sales, as well as possible milestone payments of an undisclosed amount.

Alfacell is a Bloomfield, N.J.-based pharmaceutical company. Its stock closed Monday at $1.75.Par is a Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based pharmaceutical company. Its stock closed Monday at $20.97.Ryan VlastelicaCopyright Thomson Financial News Limited 2007.

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