SK Biopharmaceuticals, the new drug development subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, announced on Feb. 14 that it had signed a deal worth US$530 million with Swiss drug company Arvelle Therapeutics to commercialize its drug candidate Cenobamate in Europe.
Cenobamate is the Korean company’s new epilepsy treatment candidate. The global market for epilepsy treatments, currently worth around 620 billion won (US$549 million), is expected to reach US$700 million by 2021.
“This contract shows that the global investors acknowledged the value of our new drug Cenobamate,” SK Biopharmaceuticals CEO Jo Jung-woo said in a statement. He added that the company would cooperate closely with Arvelle Therapeutics to introduce the drug in the European market as soon as possible.
Arvelle Therapeutics plans to apply for European Medicine Agency approval to sell Cenobamate in 32 countries including Germany, Britain, France and Switzerland.
Arvelle Therapeutics will make an advance payment worth US$100 million to SK Biopharmaceuticals and pay additional royalties upon commercializing the drug. The Korean company will also have the right to purchase shares in the Swiss company.
Meanwhile, at the end of last year SK Biopharmaceuticals also submitted a new drug application for Cenobamate to the US Food and Drug Administration. FDA approval is expected around November this year.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)