QLT Sells Visudyne to Valeant Pharmaceuticals

VANCOUVER, British Columbia—QLT Inc. (Nasdaq:QLTI) (TSX:QLT) announced on Monday that it has sold the company’s Visudyne business, a leading blindness treatment, to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement with Valeant, QLT received a payment of $112.5 million at closing and is eligible to receive additional amounts in contingent payments.

Some $50 million of the initial purchase price is for the right to receive royalties on Visudyne sales outside of the U.S. under a license agreement with Novartis Pharma AG and the right to supply Visudyne to Novartis for sales outside of the U.S., and $62.5 million of the initial purchase price is for the rights and assets of the Visudyne business in the U.S. QLT is eligible to receive up to $5 million in contingent payments relating to the development of its laser program in the U.S., up to $15 million in contingent payments relating to the Novartis non-U.S. royalties and a royalty on net sales of new indications for Visudyne, if any should be approved, the company’s announcement said.

Visudyne is used to treat abnormal growth of leaky blood vessels in the eye caused by wet age-related macular degeneration.

Jason M. Aryeh, chairman of QLT, said, “We look forward to returning capital to shareholders in the most efficient manner and to maximize the potential of our synthetic oral retinoid program. On behalf of QLT, we are confident that Valeant is the right company to continue offering Visudyne in the U.S. as an important treatment option to patients.”

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE: VRX and TSX: VRX) is a multinational specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of pharmaceutical products primarily in the areas of neurology and dermatology.

"We are excited about the opportunity to add a complementary product to our growing ophthalmology business," stated J. Michael Pearson, chairman and CEO of Valeant. "Not only will we be able to use Visudyne to better leverage our current ophthalmology sales force with a complementary product to Macugen, we are pleased to add a product that retinal specialists around the county can use as an adjunctive to products like Macugen to improve treatment options."