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Santhera secures worldwide rights to rare lung disease therapy

Swiss drugmaker Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG is looking to commercialize a medicine discovered by Polyphor Ltd.

The treatment, known as POL6014, is being investigated in cystic fibrosis and other lung diseases.

Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits a sufferer's ability to breathe.

Santhera secured the rights to the drug in exchange for a CHF6.5 million payment that will be settled via the issue of 238,924 shares priced CHF27.2053 each.

Polyphor may receive up to an additional CHF121 million in payments once certain milestones are met. The company will also receive royalties on the sales of the drug, once commercialized.

Santhera's announcement comes after the European Medicines Agency refused to change its negative opinion on the company's drug Raxone for treating respiratory complications arising from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.