MILAN (Reuters) – Italian healthcare company Angelini said on Monday it would buy Swiss-based private equity-backed Arvelle Therapeutics in an all-cash transaction valuing the biopharmaceutical company up to $960 million.
The deal is the biggest acquisition ever for the 100-year old privately-held Italian group, which aims to become a leading player among companies focused on central nervous system and mental health disorder treatments.
The accord will allow Angelini Pharma, part of the Angelini group, to have the exclusive license to commercialize in the European Union, Switzerland and the United Kingdom Arvelle’s cenobamate, a medication used for the treatment of epilepsy.
Angelini said in a statement it would initially pay $610 million for Arvelle and then a further $350 million once cenobamate – developed by Korea’s SK Biopharmaceuticals – reaches certain revenue targets.
SK has agreed to sell its 12% stake in Arvelle, the statement said. It will continue to receive all payments due under a 2019 licence agreement with Arvelle. Arvelle has received investment from a global syndicate including NovaQuest Capital Management, BRV Capital Management, Andera Partners and KB Investments.
Angelini plans to launch cenobamate after approval from the European Medicines Agency, expected this year, it said.
Cenobamate has already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is available under the name XCOPRI.
The Italian group added that it intends to open direct subsidiaries in France, Britain, the Nordics and Switzerland by 2022.
Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Giulia Segreti and Emelia Sithole-Matarise.