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Angelini Pharma to take over Arvelle Therapeutics

Italian Angelini Pharma and Swiss CNS disease specialist Arvelle Therapeutics have entered into a definitive merger agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Angelini Pharma will acquire Arvelle Therapeutics in an all-cash transaction for a total consideration of up to $960m. Subject to regulatory approval, Angelini will pay an initial $610m and subject to cenobamate reaching certain revenue targets, a further $350m will be paid.

Following Angelini Pharma’s acquisition of Arvelle Therapeutics, Angelini Pharma will be granted the exclusive licence to market the epilepsy drug cenobamate in the European Union, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. After receiving marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is expected in 2021, Angelini plans to launch cenobamate.

Cenobamate has been classified by the UK MHRA as a Promising Innovative Medicine for the treatment of drug-resistant focal seizures in adults. Cenobamate is a small molecule with a unique dual complementary mechanism of action. It acts positively by modulating the ?-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) ion channel and by inhibiting voltage-dependent sodium currents. Key studies documented the clinical efficacy of cenobamate by showing a significantly greater reduction in mean seizure frequency and more patients achieved a 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency compared to the placebo group. Cenobamate is approved in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an antiepileptic drug for the treatment of partial (focal) seizures in adults and is available under the brand name XCOPRI® (cenobamate tablets).

Furthermore, South Korean SK Biopharmaceuticals announced that it has agreed to sell its 12 per cent stake in Arvelle Therapeutics to Angelini Pharma. SK Biopharmaceuticals will continue to be entitled to all payments arising from the licence agreement signed between Arvelle Therapeutics and SK Biopharmaceuticals in February 2019. In addition, revenue share payments due to certain Arvelle shareholders will be assumed by Angelini Pharma.