LSP leads one of the largest initial financings for a European biotech company in a global syndicate supporting Arvelle to acquire exclusive rights from SK Biopharmaceuticals to develop and commercialize Cenobamate in Europe
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, February 15, 2019 -- LSP, the leading European life sciences investor, today announced the financing of Arvelle Therapeutics, which at the same time entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with SK Biopharmaceuticals to develop and commercialize Cenobamate in Europe. Cenobamate is a novel, small molecule investigational anti-epileptic drug for the potential treatment of partial-onset seizures in adult patients. Under the agreement, SK Biopharmaceuticals will receive an upfront payment of $100 million and is eligible to receive up to $430 million upon achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones in addition to royalties on net sales generated in Europe. Cenobamate was discovered and developed by SK Biopharmaceuticals from inception through to the acceptance of a New Drug Application (NDA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Arvelle Therapeutics is a newly created company that received one of the largest initial financing commitments for a European-focused biopharmaceutical company from an LSP-led global syndicate of investors that include NovaQuest, BRV Capital Management, Andera Partners, and H.I.G. BioHealth Partners. Mark Altmeyer has been named President and CEO of Arvelle. Altmeyer brings more than 30 years of global biopharmaceutical experience to Arvelle. As President and CEO of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., Altmeyer oversaw the growth of Abilify® into a multi-billion-dollar product. Most recently, he served as President and Chief Commercial Officer of Axovant Sciences and previously led the neuroscience business unit at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Altmeyer is joined by a talented team of colleagues from Axovant with deep experience in CNS drug development and global commercialization. Arvelle intends to file a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Cenobamate for partial-onset seizures in adult patients based on the data generated from SK Biopharmaceuticals’ global clinical trial program.
“We launched Arvelle to bring truly innovative CNS products to patients suffering from serious neurological conditions and Cenobamate is the perfect potential first portfolio product,” said Altmeyer. “We believe Cenobamate has the potential to be an important anti-epileptic drug treatment option for adult patients suffering from partial-onset seizures. We appreciate the support and validation of our investors and are very enthusiastic about our potential in the European market.”
“We are very excited to invest in the talented team at Arvelle on this new venture,” said Martijn Kleijwegt, Managing Partner of LSP. “SK Biopharmaceuticals has done an excellent job on the discovery and development of Cenobamate and we believe that Arvelle is the right company to gain EU approval for Cenobamate and ultimately bring it to patients in Europe.”
Cenobamate (YKP3089) was discovered by SK Biopharmaceuticals and SK Life Sciences and is being investigated for the potential treatment of partial-onset seizures (also known as “focal seizures”) in adult patients. Cenobamate’s mechanism of action is not fully understood, but it is believed to work through two separate mechanisms: enhancing inhibitory currents through positive modulation of GABA-A receptors and decreasing excitatory currents by inhibiting the persistent sodium current.
Global trials for adults with partial-onset seizures are ongoing to evaluate Cenobamate safety. An additional clinical trial is investigating Cenobamate's safety and efficacy for another form of epilepsy in adult patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted the filing of the New Drug Application for Cenobamate for the potential treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults in February 2019. Cenobamate is not yet approved by the FDA, European Medicines Agency (EMA) or any other regulatory authority. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
About SK Biopharmaceuticals
SK Biopharmaceuticals is focused on research and development of treatments for disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) and cancer. SK Biopharmaceuticals is an affiliate of SK Group, the second largest conglomerate in Korea.
About Arvelle Therapeutics
Arvelle Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company with the mission of bringing innovative solutions to patients suffering from CNS disorders. Arvelle is responsible for the development and commercialization of Cenobamate, an investigational anti-epileptic drug, in the European market. Arvelle is headquartered in Switzerland and received one of the largest initial financing commitments for a European-focused biopharmaceutical company with investments from a global syndicate including NovaQuest Capital Management, LSP, BRV Capital Management, Andera Partners and H.I.G. BioHealth Partners.
More information is available at www.Arvelletx.com.
LSP (Life Sciences Partners) is an independent European investment firm, providing financing for private and public life sciences companies. LSP’s mission is to connect investors to inventors, focusing on unmet medical needs. Since the late 1980s, LSP’s management has invested in about 100 innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders of the global life sciences industry. With over €2.0 billion ($2.3 billion) of investment capital raised to date and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is one of Europe’s leading life sciences investors. LSP also invests in public companies through its Euronext-listed LSP Life Sciences Fund (Bloomberg: LSP NA). Arvelle is the third investment of LSP’s latest flagship fund, LSP 6.
For more information, please visit www.lspvc.com
Martijn Kleijwegt, Managing Partner LSP
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