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Switzerland’s Obseva eyes China re-start for fertility drug that failed trial

ZURICH (Reuters) – ObsEva struck a pact with China’s Yuyuan BioScience Technology to develop and commercialize the fertility drug nolasiban, the Swiss drugmaker said on Monday as it seeks to inject new life into a medicine that had flopped a trial.

In November, ObsEva said it was scrapping a development program for nolasiban to help women undergoing in-vitro fertilization after did not meet its primary endpoint of an increase in ongoing pregnancy. The Nov. 7 announcement sent the shares down more than 30%.

Under the terms of this new agreement, Yuyuan gets the rights to develop and sell nolasiban in China and will pay for activities to get the medicine registered there, including a Phase 1 study and a Phase 2 Proof-of-Concept study.

Financial terms are not being disclosed for the deal that leaves ObsEva with rights outside China.

ObsEva Chief Executive Ernest Loumaye said there had been a bidding process for nolasiban in China, and that “Yuyuan in particular impressed us with their extensive personal networks, commitment, passion and deep insights in the IVF space”.

Despite nolasiban’s earlier failure, Loumaye said “I remain convinced that oxytocin antagonists have a role in improving live birth rate following IVF, and we believe that Yuyuan is well positioned to further investigate”.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Kim Coghill


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