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Gilead licensing three pre-clinical programs from Novartis

Sarah Toy

Gilead Sciences Inc. has licensed three pre-clinical anti-viral programs from rival pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG , the companies announced Friday. Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will get exclusive rights to develop and commercialize several small molecules that have the potential to treat human rhinovirus, influenza and herpes. Novartis will receive an upfront payment, the amount for which was not disclosed, and will be eligible to get an additional $291 million in potential milestone payments and royalties on annual net sales. Shares of both Gilead and Novartis were up slightly in premarket trade. Gilead's stock has gained 7.5% in the year to date through Thursday, while Novartis shares have gained 24.2%. The S&P 500 has gained 19.5%.