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Vanguard deal on migraine drug

VANGUARD MEDICA, the biotechnology company, yesterday signed a $50m (pounds 29m) marketing deal for its star anti-migraine drug with the Irish pharmaceutical company Elan. Vanguard shares leapt 7.5p to 260p after Elan acquired the rights to distribute Frovatriptan in North America.

Elan also agreed to pay pounds 6m to buy a 3 per cent stake in Vanguard for pounds 6.25 a share. The deal ends Vanguard's six-month search for a partner for Frovatriptan, which is set to be launched next year. In May, SmithKline Beecham dropped the drug from its development programme, causing a collapse in Vanguard's share price.