Novartis AG agreed to buy the rights to an experimental multiple sclerosis drug from GlaxoSmithKline Plc for as much as $1 billion as it races to catch up with a competing treatment being developed by Roche Holding AG.

Novartis will pay $300 million upfront to Glaxo for ofatumumab, followed by another $200 million after the start of late-stage clinical trials, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said in a statement on Friday. Novartis may pay as much as $534 million more if certain goals are met during the drug’s development.

Subscribe Now

Complete access to real-time information and analysis of news and trends in the industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.