PARMA, Italy, Aug. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Chiesi Group ("Chiesi"), a leading European pharmaceutical company, today announced that it has signed, through its UK affiliate, Chiesi Ltd., a definitive agreement with Sunstone Capital to acquire Zymenex Holding A/S and its related group of companies ("Zymenex"), a biopharmaceutical group focused on research and development of innovative biologic therapeutics for the treatment of rare and life threatening genetic diseases. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Zymenex includes Lamazym™ (rhLAMAN), a phase III recombinant enzyme indicated for use to treat patients suffering from alpha-Mannosidosis, as well as other early stage compounds. Zymenex R&D capabilities will establish a research and development position for Chiesi in the recombinant biologics market for rare diseases and provide a new channel for continued global growth. Chiesi will leverage its expertise in commercializing innovative pharmaceutical solutions to bring the treatment to all the worldwide patients suffering from alpha-mannosidosis.
"We are excited to announce this transaction, which marks Chiesi's entrance into the rare disease space and provides an opportunity to access high-potential markets," said Ugo Di Francesco, Chief Executive Officer of Chiesi. "By expanding our research and development assets and know-how, we believe we can successfully commercialize new and developing drugs to enhance our portfolio, expand our international footprint and strengthen our competitive position. Given the rarity of the condition and the importance of being close to the patients, we will consider setting up a standalone rare disease unit that would cover all major geographies, including the US. We look forward to working with the clinicians and scientists in the field and assisting all the patients affected by this devastating condition. We welcome the Zymenex team to Chiesi, and look forward to improving the quality of life of those suffering from life-threatening rare diseases."
"Zymenex has from the very beginning focused on orphan drugs in the field of Lysosomal Storage Diseases. Patient focus and high quality research in all aspects of the development process are the basis for the company's success," says Sten Verland, Chairman of the Board in Zymenex and partner with Sunstone Capital. "We are very pleased to handover the ownership of Zymenex to Chiesi, and we believe that Chiesi through its regulatory expertise and worldwide commercial footprint has the resources needed to fully exploit the potential of Zymenex' R&D for the benefit of patients with rare, serious, genetic diseases, for which there is no treatment available today."
Chiesi expects to gradually integrate Zymenex into its R&D structure and retain the Zymenex and Lamazym™ brands.
Back Bay Life Science Advisors provided strategic advisory services for Zymenex prior to and throughout the transaction.
About Zymenex Holding A/S
Zymenex Holding A/S is the parent company of Zymenex A/S www.zymenex.com, a Danish biopharmaceutical company, founded in 1998, with headquarters in Hilleroed north of Copenhagen, Denmark and research laboratories in Stockholm, Sweden. The company is focused on research and development of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of rare, genetic diseases, for which there is no treatment today. Lamazym™ has received Orphan Drug Designation in both Europe and the US. The clinical trials are partly sponsored by an EU Framework 7 grant, www.alpha-man.eu. The venture capital investor Sunstone Capital is the largest shareholder.
About Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.
Founded in 1935 in Parma, Italy, Chiesi Farmaceutici currently has 25 affiliates worldwide and markets its therapeutics in over 60 countries. Chiesi's manufacturing plants in Parma, Blois (France) and Santana de Parnaiba (Brazil), and R&D centers in Parma, Paris, Rockville (USA) and Chippenham (UK) integrate their efforts to advance the Group's pre-clinical, clinical and registration programs. At the end of 2012, the Chiesi Group's total staff stood at over 3,800 people, more than 350 of whom are dedicated to R&D. The main areas of activity are in respiratory therapeutics and specialist medicine areas.
Sunstone Capital is an independent venture capital investor founded in 2007 by an international team of industry experts with combined entrepreneurial, operational and financial experience. Sunstone Capital focuses on developing and expanding early-stage Life Science and Technology companies with strong potential to achieve global success in their markets. Within Life Science, Sunstone Capital has invested in more than 35 companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical technologies and diagnostics, and has completed several successful exits and IPOs. With total funds of 700 million Euro under management, Sunstone Capital is one of the largest European venture capital investors (www.sunstonecapital.com).
Media Contacts Chiesi Farmaceutici:
Joele Frank, Wilkinson BrimmerKatcher
Matthew Sherman/Erin Kurtz/Nick Lamplough
Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.
+39 (0521) 279084
Media Contact Sunstone Capital:
Dr. Sten Verland
Partner at Sunstone Capital, Life Science Ventures, and Chairman of Zymenex
SOURCE Chiesi Group