College Cashes In on Diabetes Pain Drug

Northwestern University rakes in $700 million for drug used for diabetes pain.

ByABC News
December 19, 2007, 10:12 AM

Dec. 19, 2007— -- EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - Northwestern University has sold part ofits royalty interest in a painkiller made by Pfizer for $700million in cash.

University officials haven't announced what percentage of theirinterest was sold to New York-based Royalty Pharma.

Researchers at Northwestern were the first to synthesize thechemical compound pregabalin, which is the basis of the drugLyrica. Part of the $700 million payment to Northwestern will go tothose researchers. The rest will be placed in the university'sendowment.

Lyrica is used to treat nerve pain associated with diabetes andshingles and to manage the pain of fibromyalgia. It is manufacturedby New York-based Pfizer.

Officials say the deal is the largest of its kind.