Glaxo in swoop for eczema drug

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The drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to buy Toctino, a key new eczema treatment, for up to almost £200m as it looks to boost its Stiefel dermatology business.

Under the agreement, GSK will pay the drug's Swiss developer, Basilea, £146m and additional payments of up to £50m if the drug is approved in the US.

Basilea is also entitled to payments on any US sales from three years after the launch.

Toctino is already on sale in 14 countries and is in final-stage Phase III clinical trials in the US. It had sales last year of £22m, with analysts forecasting that the drug could eventually see annual revenues hit $250m (£161m).

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