Dompé enters definitive agreement to acquire Anabasis

Dompé, one of Italy's leading biopharmaceutical companies, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of Anabasis Srl, a privately held Italian research and development biopharmaceutical company, focused on ocular diseases.

Anabasis, founded in 1999 by a group of Italian scientists who were among the first to study the use of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) - research which won Rita Levi-Montalcini the Nobel Prize - has advanced an ophthalmic formulation of NGF to preclinical and clinical stages for various diseases affecting both the anterior part of the eye, such as neurotrophic keratitis (NK) and dry eye, as well as the posterior part of the eye such as retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma.

In January 2011, Anabasis signed a licensing and co-development agreement with Dompé, which acquired a 49% stake in Anabasis and patent rights for the use of NGF to treat neurotrophic keratitis (NK). By the end of 2011 Dompé - thanks to its considerable experience in the manufacturing of recombinant proteins - has successfully achieved the development of a stable process suitable for industrial production of recombinant human NGF (rhNGF) at its biotechnological plant based in L'Aquila (Italy), which operates in compliance with GMPs and is authorized to produce recombinant proteins for human use.

Today, under the terms of the agreement, Dompé has become the sole shareholder of Anabasis by acquiring remaining 51% of its share capital for an undisclosed amount, including an immediate upfront and subsequent milestone payments related to the development and commercialization of NGF in pathological conditions.

"Anabasis is a unique opportunity for Dompé as it supports our wider project aimed at the expansion of the Group at international level" declared Sergio Dompé, President of the Company, "while the awareness of ophthalmic pathologies are steadily increasing, there is a real need for new approaches to treating them. This investment represents our responsible contribution to the Patients as it could offer significant treatment advantages over currently available therapeutic solutions".

The acquisition of Anabasis will lay the foundation stone of a new ophthalmology franchise and will create new strategic positions for Dompé in the very promising and dynamically growing ophthalmic area driven by unmet medical needs and aging population" stated Eugenio Aringhieri, Chief Executive Officer of Dompé. "Anabasis is an excellent addition to our growing pipeline and furthers our strategy of accessing high-growth segments of the international healthcare market, reducing our risk profile while focusing on patient needs".

"It is remarkable what our scientific co-founders have achieved in proving clinically that NGF have therapeutic potential for diseases of both the anterior and the posterior segment of the eye" said Dr. Francesco Sinigaglia, Chief Executive Officer of Anabasis. "We are now extremely pleased to join Dompé as it will provide Anabasis with the necessary resources and expertise to demonstrate the efficacy of products through regulatory clinical development. With the continued support of scientific founders Professors Stefano Bonini, Alessandro Lambiase, Paolo Rama and Luigi Aloe, we are confident that we will successfully contribute to bringing innovative treatments to patients at risk of loosing sight."

Source: Dompé


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