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Axovant spin-off acquires rights to antiepileptic drug

The new Basel company Arvelle Therapeutics has received one of the largest initial financing commitments for a European-focused biopharmaceutical company. As a result, it has been able to acquire the rights to develop and commercialize a new antiepileptic drug.

Arvelle Therapeutics is a spin-off from the Basel biopharmaceutical company Axovant Sciences. The newly founded company, whose work focuses on treatments for disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), has received one of the largest initial financing commitments for a European-focused biopharmaceutical company. The investment came from a global syndicate which included NovaQuest Capital ManagementLife Sciences PartnersBRV Capital ManagementAndera Partners and H.I.G. BioHealth Partners.

Arvelle Therapeutics has used these funds to now make a major acquisition. The company has acquired the exclusive rights for the development and commercialization of cenobamate in Europe from SK Biopharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of SK Group from South Korea. Cenobamate is a novel, small molecule investigational antiepileptic drug for the potential treatment of partial-onset seizures in adult patients.

Arvelle Therapeutics is making an upfront payment to SK Biopharmaceuticals of US$ 100 million and will pay up to US$ 430 million on achieving certain milestones in future. SK Biopharmaceuticals will have an option to obtain a significant equity stake in Arvelle and will also retain commercial rights for all non-European territories. Arvelle now intends to file a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for cenobamate for partial-onset seizures in adults.

“We launched Arvelle to bring truly innovative CNS products to patients suffering from serious neurological conditions and cenobamate is the perfect first pipeline product,” said Mark Altmeyer, President and CEO of Arvelle. Altmeyer was previously President and Chief Commercial Officer of Axovant Sciences. Altmeyer will also be supported by a talented team of colleagues from Axovant, drawing on many years of deep experience in CNS drug development and global commercialization.

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