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UCB strengthens epilepsy portfolio with Engage
Posted on Friday, 05 June 2020 09:32
UCB has acquired US-based clinical-stage pharmaceutical company Engage Therapeutics for USD 270.00 million.

The consideration comprises an upfront sum of USD 125.00 million, as well as an earnout of up to USD 145.00 million, dependent on milestone payments related to the clinical development, submission and launch of the Staccato Alprazolam drug.

UCB has also entered into an updated license and commercial agreement with Alexza Pharmaceuticals, under which both companies will continue to work on and commercialise Staccato.

Headquartered in New Jersey, Engage develops therapeutics to help treat patients suffering from uncontrollable epileptic seizures.

The group’s main product, Staccato, is an investigational, phase 2 drug designed to be used as a single-use seizure rescue therapy, combined with alprazolam and benzodiazepine.

Its hand-held inhaler device allows patients to receive alprazolam with a single normal breath and can potentially stop active seizures.

Stacatto is currently undergoing clinical trials, and should the results prove successful, Engage will submit the drug for approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.

The target is also planning to develop the therapeutic as part of the first rapid epileptic seizure termination therapy, which will aim to eliminate prolonged, generalised or cluster seizure episodes.

Charl van Zyl, executive vice president of UCB, said: “Staccato is an excellent strategic fit with our patient value growth strategy in epilepsy.

“It offers a potential solution for acute, on-demand treatment of a seizure, an unmet need for up to 30.0 per cent of all epileptic patients, and strengthens our current epilepsy portfolio by adding this late-stage asset.”

Located in Brussel, UCB focuses on the discovery and development of medicines and services for people living with severe immune and neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome.

During the financial year ended 31st December 2019, the company posted revenue of EUR 4.91 billion, up 6.0 per cent from EUR 4.63 billion in the preceding 12 months.

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