Vertex gets $155mm for deals tied to telaprevir milestones
Significantly boosting its cash position, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (small molecules for infectious diseases, inflammation, cystic fibrosis, and cancer) has raised $155mm in two separate transactions related to the European milestones that were owed to the company by Janssen, its partner since 2006 on Vertex's Phase III HCV protease inhibitor telaprevir. Instead of paying Vertex, Janssen will now owe the milestone money to four undisclosed investment funds, which have purchased $120mm in Vertex three-year notes that are secured by $155mm in milestones tied to the regulatory filing and approval ($100mm) and launch ($55mm) of the drug in Europe. Further, the funds have paid $35mm for rights to another $95mm in European launch milestones. In addition to a payment from Mitsubishi Tanabe to amend their 2004 telaprevir agreement in Japan and Asia, plus current cash on hand, Vertex expects to have $800mm in cash at the end of this year.