A manufacturing unit of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will acquire Toctino, a drug for the treatment of severe eczema, from Switzerland’s Basilea Pharmaceutica.

Stiefel, which manufactures and markets products for the care and treatment of skin diseases, will gain exclusive worldwide rights to the once-daily oral drug by making an upfront payment of £146m.

Basilea will also be eligible to receive further payments of up to £50m upon the product’s approval from the US Food and Drug Administration and double-digit success payments on US net sales.

Toctino is the only prescription medicine specifically approved for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema, which is unresponsive to topical steroids in adults.

It is commercially available in 14 countries, approved in an additional 15 countries, and is in a Phase 3 trial in the US. In 2011, worldwide sales of Toctino were £22m.

Stiefel president Simon Jose said: "Toctino is an important and growing product that complements the Stiefel portfolio and offers a proven therapy for patients with a significant unmet medical need. This acquisition gives us an immediate opportunity to develop and expand the availability of this new and innovative product of value and reinforces Stiefel and GSK’s commitment to dermatology."