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Angelini Pharma acquires Arvelle Therapeutics for $960 million

Angelini Pharma will have the exclusive license to commercialise cenobamate in the European Union and other countries in the European Economic Area

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Angelini Pharma, a part of Italian Angelini Group, and Arvelle Therapeutics, a Swiss-based biopharma company focused on treatments for CNS disorders, announced that they have concluded a definitive merger agreement under which Angelini Pharma will acquire Arvelle Therapeutics in an all-cash transaction for a total aggregate valuation of up to $960 million. Following regulatory approval, $610M will be paid. Subsequently, and subject to cenobamate reaching certain revenue targets, a further $350M will be paid.

Cenobamate is a medicine for the treatment of drug-resistant focal-onset seizures in adults. Cenobamate is a small molecule with a unique dual complementary mechanism of action. It acts positively modulating the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) ion channel and inhibiting voltage-gated sodium currents. Key study findings documented cenobamate’s clinical efficacy by showing a significant greater reduction in median seizure frequency and more patients achieving a 50 per cent or greater reduction in seizure frequency compared to the placebo group. Cenobamate is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States as an anti-seizure medication (ASM) for the treatment of partial-onset (focal-onset) seizures in adults and is available under the brand name XCOPRI (cenobamate tablets) CV.

Following Angelini Pharma’s acquisition of Arvelle Therapeutics, Angelini Pharma will have the exclusive license to commercialise cenobamate in the European Union and other countries in the European Economic Area (Switzerland and the United Kingdom). Angelini plans to launch cenobamate after receiving approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is expected in 2021.

Pierluigi Antonelli, CEO, Angelini Pharma said, “This transaction will propel us into a leading European player, well-positioned to address the needs of patients with different Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders through an innovative portfolio, distinctive medical capabilities and extensive commercial presence, also via the opening of direct affiliates in France, UK, Nordics and Switzerland by 2022.”

Mark Altmeyer, President & CEO, Arvelle Therapeutics said, “We think there is an excellent strategic fit with Angelini Pharma and believe the acquisition of Arvelle, and the launch of cenobamate can help accelerate their goal of becoming a leading CNS industry player.”

SK Biopharmaceuticals, a Korean pharma company announced that it has agreed to sell its 12 per cent stake in Arvelle Therapeutics to Angelini Pharma. SK Biopharmaceuticals will remain eligible to receive all payments inherited by the license agreement signed between Arvelle Therapeutics and SK Biopharmaceuticals in February 2019. In addition, revenue share payments due to certain of the Arvelle shareholders will be assumed by Angelini Pharma.

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