SK Biopharmaceuticals sells stake in Arvelle Therapeutics

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SK Biopharmaceuticals sells stake in Arvelle Therapeutics

SK Biopharmaceuticals sold its 12-percent stake in Arvelle Therapeutics and certain marketing rights to Angelini Pharma, which is privately held and headquartered in Rome.
 
The Korean company said Monday that it expects to generate $55 million of revenue as a result of the deal, including milestone payments linked to its cenobamate epilepsy treatment. Having completed Phase 3 trials last year, cenobamate is currently awaiting marketing approval from the European Medicines Agency, the region’s pharmaceutical regulator.  
 
SK Biopharmaceuticals' sell-off of its holding and marketing rights to Angelini Pharma is a part of the Italian company's 100-percent takeover of Zug, Switzerland-based Arvelle Therapeutics.
 
In 2018, SK Biopharmaceuticals signed a licensing deal with Arvelle that gave the Swiss company marketing rights for cenobamate in Europe. That deal was worth $530 million, including an upfront payment of $100 million and royalties on net sales generated in Europe. That was also when SK acquired a 12-percent stock warrant in Arvelle Therapeutics.
 
Angelini Pharma will assume Arvelle’s rights and payment obligations. SK Biopharmaceuticals will receive an additional payment of up to $55 million as the result of the Italian firm’s acquisition of Arvelle.  
 
For its equity and marketing rights for cenobamate, SK Biopharmaceuticals will receive an immediate upfront payment of about $32 million and $23 million in milestone payments for regulatory progress and sales.  
 
SK Biopharmaceuticals believes it is likely to be paid the whole $55 million, as cenobamate completed the last stage of clinical trials last year and is only awaiting regulatory approval. The Korean firm will also receive royalties proportional to cenobamate’s sales in Europe.
 
“We are delighted to start a new working relationship with Angelini Pharma that will enable all of us to move a step forward in launching cenobamate in Europe as promised to the epilepsy community,” said Cho Jeong-woo, CEO of SK Biopharmaceuticals.  
 
“This marks the beginning not only of our new relationship but also the year of our European entry. SK Biopharmaceuticals will continue its efforts with our partners to provide a new treatment option to patients worldwide.”
 
SK Biopharmaceuticals fell more than 8 percent in trading on Monday.
 
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON   [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
 
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