Novartis acquires license to CMV vaccine candidate

BASEL, Switzerland (AP) -- Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG said Monday it has licensed a potential vaccine for a type of herpes virus from U.S.-based company AlphaVax Inc.

Novartis said it is paying $20 million upfront to the North Carolina company to secure the right to a developmental vaccine for the cytomegalovirus, or CMV. It also said that AlphaVax will be eligible for milestone payments and royalties.

A virus of the herpes family, CMV can seriously harm patients with weakened immune systems such as newborns or those with AIDS or cancer.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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