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Paris court affirms lower ruling in Onxeo's JV dispute with SpePharm

The Court of Appeal of Paris has dismissed a request from Onxeo SA to review an earlier decision in its dispute with SpePharm Holding B.V. over the companies' 50-50 joint venture SpeBio BV.

SpeBio was formed to distribute Loramyc for the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis, a yeast or fungal infection.

Onxeo has alleged contract breaches by SpePharm and SpeBio that resulted in a delay in the marketing and sales of Loramyc. The alleged breach of contract caused Onxeo to terminate its agreement with the two companies in 2009 and litigate the matter.

The Commercial Court of Paris ruled against Onxeo in October 2017 and directed it to pay SpePharm and SpeBio €50,000 and €8.6 million in damages, respectively.

The Paris Court of Appeal has now affirmed the first ruling and ordered Onxeo to pay SpeBio an additional 2.8 million in compensation for costs incurred and loss of opportunity. The court, however, relieved Onxeo of paying the €50,000 in damages to SpePharm.

Onxeo owns half of SpeBio which amounts to €5 million in financial assets, and "should be able to retrieve half of the financial assets in the joint-venture," according to the company.

Paris-based Onxeo, a biotechnology company focused on cancer, will review its options following the court's decision and recalculate the financial impact the decision will have on the company.