QLT Inc. announced Monday the sale of its drug Visudyne for $112.5 million to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.
Visudyne helped QLT become one of Canada's most successful biotechnology firms on the back of the treatment for agerelated macular degeneration - a major cause of blindness in the elderly.
But sales of the drug, which uses a combination of injections and light therapy to treat AMD, plunged after the introduction of Genentech's Lucentis and rising off-label use of cancer treatment Avastin.
Valeant agreed to pay $62.5 million to acquire the U.S. rights to Visudyne, and another $50 million for rights to the non-U.S. royalties. QLT is also eligible for up to $5 million in contingent payments relating to the development of its laser program in the U.S., up to $15 million related to the non-U.S. royalties.
"The board is pleased to have executed on a key strategic objective and completed a transaction that is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders," QLT chairman Jason Aryeh 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."
QLT shares were up on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.