Novartis terminates agreement with Mesoblast (ASX:MSB)

Pharmaceutical company Novartis has terminated the agreement with medicine developer Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) prior to closing.

A deal was struck with Novartis last year, which included an initial payment of $US50 million from Novartis. The agreement was dependent on successful outcomes from the clinical trial, which involved treatment for Covid-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Mesoblast said the observed mortality reduction with remestemcel-L in patients aged under 65 in the completed Covid ARDS trial, despite having missed the primary endpoint, is considered by Mesoblast to be a sufficiently strong signal to support pursuing an emergency use authorisation, the most direct path to market.

The company also said Covid-19 is likely to remain a serious global problem and to provide a major commercial opportunity for Mesoblast, with a steady state of intensive care unit ARDS patients irrespective of vaccines and anti-viral treatments.

Shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) are trading 15.6 per cent lower at $1.44.