Healthcare Industry News:  Enanta Pharmaceuticals 


 News Release - December 12, 2006

Abbott and Enanta Form Worldwide Alliance to Develop and Commercialize HCV Protease Inhibitors

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., and WATERTOWN, Mass., Dec. 12 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Abbott and Enanta Pharmaceuticals announced today that the companies have signed a worldwide agreement to develop and commercialize hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 and NS3/4A protease inhibitors. Enanta has discovered several HCV protease inhibitors that have demonstrated attractive efficacy and pharmacokinetic profiles in pre-clinical studies.

"Abbott's innovative work in the protease inhibitor field against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has provided the momentum and the foundation for our research interest in HCV infection," said John Leonard, M.D., vice president, Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abbott. "Enanta has done compelling work in its HCV protease inhibitor program, and we look forward to working together on the advancement of this global program."

"Abbott is a market leader in the field of antiviral therapies, and we have a shared vision and commitment to the discovery and development of promising HCV therapies that address this high unmet medical need globally," stated Jay R. Luly, Ph.D., president and CEO of Enanta Pharmaceuticals.

Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott gains worldwide access to Enanta's substantial intellectual property position for a variety of different types of compounds, which includes several issued U.S. patents. Abbott also gains access to Enanta's drug discovery capabilities in the HCV NS3 and NS3/4A protease inhibitor field. The closing of the transaction is subject to antitrust clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

Upon closing, Enanta will receive an upfront payment of $57 million, which includes a cash payment and an equity investment. If all potential clinical and regulatory milestones are met, additional payments of up to $250 million will be made to Enanta, and further payments will be due if multiple products develop from the program. Enanta will receive double-digit royalties and holds an option to fund 40 percent of development costs and U.S. commercialization efforts (sales and promotion costs) in exchange for a 40- percent profit share in the United States on medicines from this alliance that result in commercial approval.

"Through this alliance, we will enhance our HCV protease inhibitor program and allow both companies to participate in the long-term value creation of these compounds by leveraging Enanta's core expertise in chemistry and drug discovery with Abbott's proven track-record in the discovery, development, and commercialization of antiviral therapies," stated Yujiro S. Hata, senior vice president of Business Development at Enanta Pharmaceuticals.

About Hepatitis C Virus

Hepatitis C is a liver disease affecting more than 170 million people worldwide. The virus is spread through direct contact with the blood of an infected person. Hepatitis C increases a person's risk of developing chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death. Liver disease associated with HCV infection is growing rapidly, and current therapies only provide sustained benefit in about half of patients with the genotype1 form of the virus. Specifically targeted antiviral therapies for HCV, such as NS3/4A protease inhibitors, may have the potential to increase the proportion of patients in whom the virus can be eradicated.

About Enanta

Enanta Pharmaceuticals is a research and development company that uses its novel chemistry approach and drug discovery capabilities to create best in class small molecule drugs in the anti-infective field. At the heart of Enanta is its commitment to innovative chemistry that surpasses traditional medicinal chemistry approaches. The company's successful integration of chemistry with biology has created a new class of macrolide antibiotics that overcome bacterial resistance. Antibacterial focus areas include community respiratory tract infections as well as hospital and community infections relating to MRSA. Additionally, Enanta has discovered antiviral agents targeted against the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Enanta is a privately held company with offices in Watertown, Mass. More information about the company can be found at .

Enanta Forward-Looking Statement

Certain statements in this press release are forward looking. Enanta notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to the risk that products developed under the collaboration, if any, will not advance as anticipated, or may not receive required regulatory clearances or approvals, and the uncertainty that collaboration products will be accepted and adopted by the market.

About Abbott

Abbott (NYSE: ABT ) is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs 65,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's web site at .

Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 - A Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for the purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Abbott's operations are discussed in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," and Exhibit 99.1 to our Annual Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005 and in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," to our Quarterly Report on Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2006, and are incorporated by reference. We undertake no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward- looking statements as the result of subsequent events or developments.

Source: Abbott

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
Please address inquiries directly to the issuing company.

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