QLT Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTI; TSX: QLT) ("QLT" or the "Company") today announced that it has restructured its agreement with Novartis Pharma AG ("Novartis") to simplify the relationship, under which, effective January 1, 2010, it will, among other things, receive exclusive U.S. rights to the Visudyne(R) patents to sell and market Visudyne in the U.S. Visudyne, a photosensitizer co-developed with Novartis, is approved worldwide for the treatment of a form of wet age-related macular degeneration ("AMD"), the leading cause of legal blindness in people over the age of 55 in North America and Europe.
Under the Amended and Restated PDT Product Development, Manufacturing and Distribution Agreement (the "Amended PDT Agreement"), QLT will have exclusive U.S. sales and marketing rights to Visudyne, including rights to all end-user revenue derived from Visudyne sales in the U.S. Novartis will have marketing and sales rights in all countries outside of the U.S. ("ex-US") and will pay QLT a royalty of 20% of ex-US net sales until December 31, 2014, and thereafter 16% of ex-US net sales until the expiry of the Amended PDT Agreement on December 31, 2019. QLT will continue to manufacture Visudyne and will supply the product at a pre-specified price exclusively to Novartis for ex-US distribution. QLT and Novartis will each be responsible for all costs and expenses associated with marketing and sales in their respective territories.
"We are very pleased with the amended terms of our agreement with Novartis which we expect will increase our revenue from Visudyne and will simplify our relationship," said Bob Butchofsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of QLT. "This restructure will allow us to directly influence Visudyne sales in the U.S. by establishing a small focused sales force centered on retinal specialists."
As part of the restructure, QLT and Novartis have released each other from all open claims the parties may have against each other, including any in connection with QLT's litigation with Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and QLT's litigation with General Hospital Corporation (doing business as Massachusetts General Hospital).