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Roche to commercialize Hepatitis C drug in China with Ascletis

The logo of the Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen on a factory in Burgdorf near Bern November 17, 2010. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener
The logo of the Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen on a factory in Burgdorf near Bern November 17, 2010. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG said it had teamed up with biotech firm Ascletis to develop and commercialize its investigative drug danoprevir in China for the treatment of the Hepatitis-C virus.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ascletis will fund and be responsible for regulatory affairs and developing and manufacturing danoprevir in greater China, including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Ascletis will receive payments upon reaching certain development and commercial milestones from Roche.

Ten million patients are infected annually with Hepatitis-C in China and there are no direct antiviral agents currently marketed to treat the disease, Ascletis said.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley)

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