Roberts Pharmaceutical Corp. announced on Monday that it hasbeen granted exclusive worldwide rights to Supprelin histrelin,a pediatric drug, by Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp.

Financial terms with Ortho were not disclosed. Roberts shares(NASDAQ:RPCX) jumped $1.88 to $26 on Monday.

Supprelin has FDA approval to treat central precocious puberty(CPP), an endocrine disorder in which puberty occurs at anabnormally early age, in some cases as early as 2 to 3 years.Supprelin, which has orphan drug status, delays the productionof the sex hormone. It is discontinued when children reach anappropriate chronological age.

Roberts said it will begin marketing Supprelin immediately.

The company has been developing Somagard deslorelin for CPP,prostate cancer and endometriosis, a gynecologic disorder. "Asa result of this licensing agreement, Somagard will now bepositioned for prostate cancer and endometriosis, whileSupprelin will be targeted for CPP," according to RobertVukovich, CEO and chairman. The Eatontown, N.J., companyrecently received regulatory approval for the sale of Somagardin Ireland for prostate cancer.

-- Steve Usdin BioWorld Washington Bureau

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