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Gilead, Royalty Pharma to Pay Emory University $525 Million for Rights of Antiretroviral Emtriva

July 19, 2005

Emory University on Monday announced it will sell the rights to an antiretroviral drug developed by its scientists to Gilead Sciences and Royalty Pharma in exchange for a one-time payment of $525 million, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Wahlberg, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/19). The drug, called Emtriva and known generically as emtricitabine, was approved by FDA in July 2003 and works by blocking an enzyme that is necessary for HIV replication (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/3/03). Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will pay Emory $341 million to acquire 65% of the intellectual property rights to Emtriva and Royalty Pharma will pay Emory $184 million for the other 35% of the rights. Gilead, which markets the drug worldwide, will no longer owe Emory royalties, but it will be obligated to make payments to Royalty Pharma on future sales of the drug (Reuters, 7/19). Emory researchers Dennis Liotta, Raymond Schinazi and Woo-Baeg Choi, who developed Emtriva, will receive a "minority share" of the one-time payment, according to the Journal-Constitution (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/19). Gilead also will make a one-time payment of $15 million to Emory in connection with amending and restating the license agreement (AP/, 7/18). Emory President James Wagner said the transaction is the largest known intellectual property deal involving a U.S. university. He said that the funds will be invested in scientific research and discovery, with prominence given to global health. "This accelerates that progress to be national and global now," Wagner said, adding, "It's exciting, but it's also humbling." Emory's current annual research budget is about $350 million (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/19).

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