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United Therapeutics collaborates with MannKind to develop blood pressure therapy

United Therapeutics Corp. said it is partnering with MannKind Corp. to develop a dry powder formulation of treprostinil that will be marketed worldwide.

Under the agreement, United Therapeutics will be responsible for global development, regulatory and commercial activities of the treatment for pulmonary high blood pressure. Meanwhile, MannKind will initially supply the product from its manufacturing facility in Danbury, Conn.

MannKind will receive an upfront payment of $45 million from the Silver Spring, Md.-based biotechnology company which already markets a version of treprostinil in the U.S. as Tyvaso. MannKind is also eligible to receive another $50 million once certain milestones are met, as well as royalties on the sales of the product in territories it is commercialized.

United Therapeutics can also license other active ingredients for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension from MannKind which will receive up to $40 million every time the option is exercised, plus royalties on sales of any such product.

The agreement is subject to U.S. antitrust approval.

In a separate agreement, MannKind will conduct research on behalf of United Therapeutics for products outside the scope of the licensing and collaboration agreement. In return, MannKind will receive an immediate payment of $10 million.