Italian pharmaceutical company, Angelini Pharma – part of the private Italian Angelini Group – has announced that it is looking to acquire Arvelle Therapeutics, a Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative treatments to patients suffering from Central Nervous System (CNS).
This is an all-cash deal for a total valuation of up to $960M (approx €782.5M). Following regulatory approval, the company will be paid $610M (approx €497.2M). Subsequently, a further $350M (approx €285.3M) will be paid, once Cenobamante – developed by Korea’s SK Biopharmaceuticals – reaches certain revenue targets.
Speaking on the development, Pierluigi Antonelli, CEO of Angelini Pharma, says, “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.”
SK Biopharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company listed on the Korea Stock Exchange, has also 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.
Following this development, Angelini Pharma will have the exclusive license to commercialise Cenobamate in the EU and other countries in the European Economic Area (Switzerland and the UK).
What is Cenobamate?
Cenobamate is a Promising Innovative Medicine (PIM) by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) It is used for the treatment of drug-resistant focal-onset seizures in adults. It 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 significantly 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 US 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.
Angelini plans to launch Cenobamate after receiving approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is expected in 2021.
About Arvelle Therapeutics
Founded in 2019 by Gregory M. Weinhoff, Ilise Lombardo, and Mark Altmeyer, Arvelle Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative solutions to patients suffering from CNS disorders. The company is responsible for the development and commercialisation of Cenobamate, an investigational anti-seizure medicine, in the European market.
Headquartered in Switzerland, the company received a funding of $207.8M (approx €169.2M), one of the largest initial financing commitments for a European-focused biopharmaceutical company, with investments from a global syndicate including NovaQuest Capital Management, BRV Capital Management, LSP, H.I.G. BioHealth Partners, Andera Partners, F-Prime Capital and KB Investments.
Since its inception, Arvelle’s management team has focused on bringing Cenobamate to people with epilepsy, while also creating significant value for shareholders. They have worked in close collaboration with the European regulators to advance the marketing authorisation application (MAA), and have successfully prepared for launch by building an organisation throughout Europe and ensuring launch readiness across key areas of the business.
Mark Altmeyer, CEO of Arvelle Therapeutics, says, “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.”
About Angelini Pharma
Angelini Pharma is a pharmaceutical company, part of the Italian privately-owned Angelini Group. Angelini Pharma claims to be committed to helping patients in the therapeutics areas of mental health (including pain), rare diseases, and consumer healthcare.
According to the company, over the past 50 years, in the field of mental health, it has received international recognition for its efforts to improve the management of patients with mental health disorders with the help of important, internally developed, molecules (such as trazodone) and its commitment to fighting mental health stigma.
Currently, the company operates directly in 15 countries employing almost 3.000 people, and commercialises its products in more than 50 countries through strategic alliances with leading international pharmaceutical groups.