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Sun Pharma to buy Novartis' branded oncology drug Pictured: Abhay Gandhi, Sun Pharma's India Business CEO, speaks during a news conference in Mumbai, India, June 8, 2016.Reuters

Mumbai-based Sun Pharma will acquire cancer drug Odomzo from Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis for $175 million and additional milestone payments.

"Odomzo has marketing approval in over 30 countries globally, including the US, Europe and Australia," Sun Pharma said in a statement. The drug has been acquired for global markets.

"The agreement has been signed between subsidiaries of both the companies and will close following anti-trust clearance and further closing conditions. The agreement has been signed for an upfront payment of US$ 175 million and additional milestone payments," it added.

The drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in July 2015. It will be the first branded oncology product and extends its commitment in dermatology.

Odomzo is a hedgehog pathway inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (laBCC) that has recurred following surgery or radiation therapy, or those who are not candidates for surgery or radiation therapy. Approximately 70 percent of the prescribers are dermatologists and rests are oncologists for this class of drug.

"We look forward to collaborating with the medical community to bring this novel therapy to the market to patients suffering from locally advanced basal cell carcinoma. Odomzo complements and enhances our existing dermatology franchise. This acquisition has the potential to leverage and expand the relationships that our Levulan sales team have with the dermatologists that treat common pre-cancerous skin conditions," said Jesper Jensen, Head – Biologics and Dermatology, Sun Pharma.

BCC accounts for almost 80 percent of non-melanoma skin cancer cases. Cases of BCC increase by 10 percent each year due to various factors, including aging population and increased ultraviolet exposure.

It mostly occurs in the head and neck, with the nose being the most common site. Symptoms include abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions in the skin's basal cells, which line the outermost layer of the skin.