LONDON (Reuters) – British pharmaceutical firm ImmuPharma said on Thursday it had signed a licensing and development agreement for Lupuzor, a first-in-class treatment for auto-immune disease Lupus, with U.S. company Avion Pharmaceuticals.

Avion and ImmuPharma will co-develop Lupuzor, including a new Phase III trail, and Avion will commercialize the drug exclusively in the United States, ImmuPharma said.

The British company said it would receive milestone payments of up to $70 million, comprising $5 million upon regulatory approval and up to $65 million based on sales targets.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton

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