Pharma Focus Asia

Angelini Pharma to acquire Arvelle Therapeutics, creating a leading European innovator in central nervous system and mental illness therapy

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Angelini Pharma , an international pharmaceutical company part of the private Italian Angelini Group, and Arvelle Therapeutics, a Switzerland-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of innovative therapies for patients with CNS disorders, today signed a definitive merger agreement. According to this, Angelini Pharma will take over Arvelle Therapeutics in a pure cash transaction for a total value of up to 960 million US dollars. Once approved by regulators, it will pay $ 610 million. An additional up to $ 350 million will be paid at a later date, subject to certain sales targets for Cenobamate being met.

Following the acquisition of Arvelle Therapeutics by Angelini Pharma, Angelini Pharma will receive the exclusive license to commercialize cenobamate in the European Union and other countries in the European Economic Area (Switzerland and Great Britain). After receiving approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is expected in 2021, Angelini plans to launch cenobamate.

Since inception in 2019, Arvelle's management team has focused on making Cenobamate available to people with epilepsy in Europe while creating significant value for shareholders. You have worked closely with the European regulatory authorities to advance the marketing authorization application (MAA). In order to prepare for the market launch and ensure it in all key areas of the company, a Europe-wide organizational structure was also developed. 

Cenobamate has been classified by the UK MHRA as a "Promising Innovative Medicine" for the treatment of drug-resistant partial seizures in adults. Cenobamate is a small molecule with a unique dual complementary mechanism of action. It has a positive effect by modulating the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) ion channel and by inhibiting voltage-dependent sodium currents. Key studies documented the clinical effectiveness of cenobamate by showing a significantly greater reduction in the mean seizure frequency and more patients achieving a reduction in seizure frequency of 50% or more compared to the placebo group [1]. Cenobamate is in the US Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anti-epileptic for the treatment of partial (focal) seizures in adults and available under the brand name XCOPRI® (Cenobamate Tablets) CV.

"This is the most important investment in the history of our group and it shows the anchor shareholder's involvement in the pharmaceutical industry, which is still our largest division,"  commented Thea Paola Angelini and Sergio Marullo from Condojanni , Executive Vice President and CEO of Angelini Holding, respectively . “This acquisition represents a milestone on our growth path and is a driver of our multinational orientation, which affects all companies in the Angelini Groupconsequences. We are proud that for the second time in a year we have succeeded in gaining a significant and coveted asset that strengthens us and positions us as one of the key players in the market. "

"We at Angelini Pharma are very pleased to have signed this promising agreement and are thrilled with the commitment and work that our colleagues at Arvelle have put into the company over the past few years. We share the same patient-centered culture and agile attitude",  says Pierluigi Antonelli , CEO Angelini Pharma ."This transaction will make us a leading European player. We are well positioned to address the needs of patients with various diseases of the central nervous system through an innovative portfolio, strong medical skills and an extensive market presence - particularly through the opening of offices in France, Great Britain, the Nordic countries and Switzerland by 2022. "  

"I am very proud of the team we have built at Arvelle and of the progress we have made over the past two years to bring cenobamates to people with epilepsy in Europe,"  said Mark Altmeyer , President & CEO by Arvelle Therapeutics . "We believe we are an excellent strategic fit for Angelini Pharma and believe that the acquisition of Arvelle and the launch of Cenobamate can help accelerate their goal of becoming a leader in the CNS industry."

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