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Angelini Pharma acquires Switzerland's Arvelle Therapeutics for $960M

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Angelini Pharma acquires Switzerland's Arvelle Therapeutics for $960M

Angelini Pharma Inc. acquired Switzerland's Arvelle Therapeutics GmbH for $960 million in cash.

The Gaithersburg, Md., pharmaceutical company is a unit of Angelini Acraf SpA, an Italian manufacturer of personal health and well-being products.

Under the deal, Angelini will pay $610 million after receiving regulatory approval. The remaining $350 million will be paid when certain revenue targets for Arvelle's epilepsy drug cenobamate are achieved.

Angelini expects to become a leading European player in the market for central nervous system and mental health disorder therapies through the acquisition, according to the companies' Jan. 4 news release.

The acquisition will grant Angelini the exclusive license to market cenobamate in the EU and other countries in the European Economic Area. The company plans to launch the drug after it receives marketing approval in the EU, which is likely to occur in 2021.

Key players in the global anti-epileptics market include Pfizer Inc. with its drug Lyrica and UCB SA with Briviact and Vimpat, among its epilepsy drugs, according to an April 2020 report from Fortune Business Insights.

In connection with the acquisition, South Korea's SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. agreed to sell its 12% equity stake in Arvelle to Angelini. SK Biopharmaceuticals signed a licensing agreement with Arvelle in February 2019 that allows the Swiss biopharmaceutical company to market cenobamate in Europe. SK remains eligible to receive all payments required under that agreement.

Cenobamate was discovered by SK Biopharmaceuticals and Fair Lawn, N.J.-based SK Life Science Inc. to treat partial-onset seizures in adults. The anti-seizure medication received U.S. approval in November 2019 and is marketed in the country as Xcopri.

Sio Gene Therapies Inc., another shareholder at Arvelle, also agreed to sell its stake in the company for an up-front payment of $11.8 million as well as regulatory and milestone payments of $8.2 million.