Lundbeck Buys 4.6% Stake in Biotie

On Friday, Lundbeck announced that they are investing 10 million euros to buy a stake in Biotie Therapies Corp, Lundbeck’s partner on the investigational alcohol dependence drug Selincro.

The investment signifies 4.6% of Biotie’s total equity capital, and a 25% premium to the Finnish biotech’s share price on September 6.  In association with the agreement, the terms of the companies’ pact concerning Selincro (nalmefene) have been revised.

This means that the royalties on the sales in markets outside of the European Union, the European Free Trade Area and the USA are now being reduced “in order to support the possible launching of the product for these markets” by Lundbeck.  Biotie may also receive a further sales milestone of 5 million euros in Japan.

This means that Biotie are now eligible for up to 89 million euros (from 84 million euros previously) straightaway and milestone payments, in addition to royalties. The organisation has already received 12 million euros.

Lundbeck hold worldwide development and commercialisation rights to Selincro.  They filed a marketing authorisation application for Selincro with the European Medicines Agency in December 2011 and a decision is anticipated in quarter four.

Anders Gersel Pedersen, Head of R&D at Lundbeck, commented that Lundbeck “are now at a stage where we can start the discussions around the development strategy outside Europe and we are therefore pleased that we can amend the licensing agreement [and make] the equity investment in Biotie.”

In connection with the share subscription, Lundbeck have agreed not to sell or dispose of the new shares for a minimum of 18 months after the subscription without prior permission from Biotie.

Additional milestone payments are expected on potential commercial launch of nalmefene and on the product possibly attainment certain predetermined sales.

Biotie also confirmed that they have raised 20 million euros in a private placement with institutional and strategic investors.

Chief executive Timo Veromaa noted the extra funds of 30 million euros from Lundbeck and from financing provides the company with “new opportunities now as we are approaching significant commercial and clinical development milestones.”  It also “solidifies our financial position in discussions with potential commercial partners.”


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