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Acino signs exclusive license agreement with Bioprojet for treatment of narcolepsy and obstructive sleeping apnoea (OSA)

Tuesday 14th June 2022

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This agreement strengthens Acino’s position in the Central Nervous System (CNS) therapeutic area and paves the way for greater patient access to novel treatments of rare diseases in KSA.

ZURICH, Switzerland, 14 June 2022 – Acino, a Swiss pharmaceutical company headquartered in Zurich, announced today that it has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Bioprojet, a French research-based pharmaceutical company, to register, market, commercialise, and distribute pitolisant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), with potential expansion to other countries in the Middle East.

Pitolisant is a selective histamine H3-receptor antagonist/inverse agonist that enhances the activity of histaminergic neurons in the brain. Pitolisant, a first-in-class drug, has an orphan designation in the EU and the US for the treatment of narcolepsy and was recently approved for the treatment of daytime sleepiness in OSA.

Under the agreement, Acino has the exclusive right to register, market, commercialise and distribute pitolisant in KSA. The product is expected to be launched in Saudi Arabia by 2025. Both parties agreed to extend this offering in the future to other countries in the Middle Eastern region and potentially, other emerging markets where Acino is operating.

“We are delighted to have formed this partnership with Bioprojet. Adding pitolisant to Acino’s portfolio marks an important milestone in our innovation journey,” said Steffen Saltofte, CEO Acino. “We continue to pursue our purpose of increasing patient access to quality healthcare, which includes collaborating with the leading biotech companies like Bioprojet to develop a pipeline of innovative specialty treatments for the benefit of our patients.”

“Bioprojet is pleased to partner with Acino, a medicines provider that is uniquely positioned to bring relief to patients in Saudi Arabia, suffering from narcolepsy or OSA disorders. Both are severe conditions, affecting the patient quality of life. We are confident that with the company’s expertise, Acino will help achieve significant patient life improvements,” said Prof. Jean-Charles Schwartz, one of Bioprojet co-founders.

This strategic partnership aligns with the goals of the Kingdom’s National Vision 2030 and Health Sector Transformation Programme, focused on quality, care and optimisation of treatment outcomes. It also follows close on the heels of the recently announced localisation agreements between Acino and Alpha Pharma and Batterjee Pharma, reinforcing the company’s commitment to KSA and its people.

Acino makes its contribution to local economies of the countries where it operates through strategic partnerships, local manufacturing agreements, new employment opportunities and educational programmes. With the global vision and strong local footprint, the company stands for consistently high-quality products for all, when and where they are needed most.

– ENDS –

About Pitolisant

Pitolisant is a selective histamine H3-receptor antagonist/inverse agonist that enhances the activity of histaminergic neurons. The drug was approved by the EMA in 2016 for the treatment of narcolepsy in adults with or without cataplexy and is marketed in certain countries in Europe. Pitolisant has an orphan designation in the EU and the US for the treatment of narcolepsy and a breakthrough designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of cataplexy. Recently it was approved for the treatment of daytime sleepiness in OSA.

About Acino

Acino is a Swiss pharmaceutical company headquartered in Zurich with a clear focus on selected markets in the Middle East, Africa, Russia, the CIS Region, and Latin America. Acino is part of ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company. We deliver quality pharmaceuticals to promote affordable healthcare in these emerging markets and leverage our high-quality pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities and network to supply leading companies through contract manufacturing and out-licensing.

For more information, please visit: www.acino.swiss.

About Bioprojet

Bioprojet is a research-based pharmaceutical company. Bioprojet is headquartered in Paris, France and its Research Center is located in Rennes, France. Its activity is focused on the design, synthesis and development of novel classes of drugs for unmet medical needs.

For more information, please visit: www.bioprojet.com.

For more details, please contact:

Acino

Larisa Bernstein, Global Head of Communications
larisa.bernstein@acino.swiss

Bioprojet

Jean-Guillaume Lecomte, General Manager
jg.lecomte@bioprojet.com