Vivek Ramaswamy whips up a CNS spinoff with a $530M deal and a syndicate of supporters

Vivek Ramaswamy 斥资5.3亿美元拆分神经科部门,专注阿尔茨海默病

2019-02-15 12:52:00 endpoint News


After beefing up its arsenal of gene therapies-in-development in December following the striking failures of its once-hyped dementia and Alzheimer’s assets, Vivek Ramaswamy’s Axovant has now shaped itself into a full-fledged gene therapy company by transitioning its small molecule team into a new CNS entity — Switzerland-based Arvelle Therapeutics. Arvelle has paid South Korea’s SK Biopharmaceuticals $100 million upfront for the European rights to an antiepileptic drug, cenobamate, which is currently under FDA review. SK is eligible to receive up to $430 million in regulatory and commercial milestones, and royalties on net sales generated in Europe. Arvelle plans to file an application to market the drug in Europe based on the data generated from SK’s global clinical trial program. While SK has the option to take a big stake in Arvelle, Axovant will receive a 5% preferred equity stake in the startup, following the consummation of a planned initial capital raise of more than $100 million from a global syndicate including NovaQuest Capital Management, LSP, BRV Capital Management, Andera Partners and H.I.G. BioHealth Partners, which is imminent. Axovant will also lose 25% of its workforce — employees involved in small molecule development and commercialization are moving to Arvelle — including chief commercial officer Mark Altmeyer, who is stepping down to take charge as Arvelle CEO. Meanwhile, Axovant CFO Greg Weinhoff will remain at Axovant and transition to the role of chief financial and business officer at Arvelle later this year. “We learned about cenobamate last year as we were defining the company’s new strategic direction, and we formed a unique relationship with SK Biopharmaceuticals through that process. The transition of  Axovant’s small molecule team to Arvelle completes our transformation…while offering us an opportunity to reduce costs and realize long-term value from our legacy small molecule platform,” Axovant chief Pavan Cheruvu said in a statement.
去年12月, Vivek Ramaswamy 旗下的 Axovant 公司在遭遇阿尔茨海默病管线的惊人失败后加强了公司基因疗法的研发能力,如今,该公司通过将其小分子团队转变为一个新的 CNS 实体——总部位于瑞士的 Arvelle Therapeutics ,已将自身打造成一家成熟的基因治疗公司。 Arvelle 已向韩国 SK Biopharmaceuticals 支付1亿美元,作为欧洲抗癫痫药 cenobmate 的权利,目前正接受 FDA 的审查。SK 有资格获得高达4.3亿美元的监管和商业里程碑,以及欧洲净销售额的特许权使用费。Arvelle 计划根据 SK 的全球临床试验计划所产生的数据,提出在欧洲销售该药物的申请。 虽然 SK 有权选择收购 Arvelle 的大量股权,但 Axovant 将获得该初创公司5%的优先股权,这是在 NovaQuest Capital Management 、 LSP 、 BRV Capital Management 、 Andersa Partners 和 H.I.G . BioHealth Partners 等全球银团完成了超过1亿美元的首次融资计划之后。这是迫在眉睫的。 Axovant 还将失去25%的员工——参与小分子开发和商业化的员工正转向 Arvelle ——包括首席商务官 Mark Altmeyer ,他将辞去 Arvelle 首席执行官的职务。与此同时, Axovant 首席财务官 Greg Weinhoff 将继续留在 Axovant ,并在今年晚些时候过渡到 Arvelle 首席财务和业务官的角色。 “去年,我们在确定公司新的战略方向时,了解了 cenobmate ,通过这个过程,我们与 SK BioPharmaceuticals 形成了独特的关系。Axovant 首席执行官 Pavan Cheruvu 在一份声明中表示:“ Axovant 小分子团队向 Arvelle 的转型完成了我们的转型……同时为我们提供了一个机会,可以降低成本,实现我们传统小分子平台的长期价值。”