09 September 1997
Novartis, Chiron in research deal

By FWi staff

NOVARTIS crop division will have exclusive rights to some crop protection and animal health products under a three-year contract it has signed with Chiron Technologies.

Chiron will offer Novartis chemical compounds from its “library” of products generated by combinatorial chemistry. Novartis will select, from these, compounds with potential applications in its own business.

Robert Nyfeler, head of Novartis crop protection, said the deal was a “major research collaboration” for Novartis and it is one of the first to bring the new skills of combinatorial chemistry into agribusiness.

Combinatorial chemistry is the process of synthesising large collections (libraries) of new compounds by combining different molecular building blocks of existing or novel chemical agents.

Under the agreement, Novartis will support the chemical synthesis group at Chiron Technologies, based in Melbourne Australia. Using its Multipin technologies, the Chiron unit will produce selected combinatorial libraries which Novartis will screen.

Novartis will then have exclusive worldwide rights on active compounds and derivatives it chooses from the Chiron library in regard to crop protection and animal health.

In return, Chiron will receive initial, annual and milestone payments, as well as royalties on any products arising from the arrangement.