Actelion to acquire Trophos

Trophos a pipeline of molecular entities in development for motor neuron diseases

Swiss biopharmaceutical company Actelion has obtained an exclusive option to acquire Trophos, a French clinical stage pharmaceutical company, for €10m.

Trophos' lead compound olesoxime has completed enrolment into a Phase III study in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), an orphan disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. This study is expected to report data by the end of 2011. At this time Actelion may exercise the option for an acquisition price between €125–€195m in cash, depending on regulatory approvals and other clinical progress of Trophos' pipeline.

Simon Buckingham, president of global corporate and business development at Actelion, said: ‘Trophos has done an excellent job to enrol more than 500 ALS patients into a well-designed pivotal study. Once study results are available, Actelion is ideally positioned to leverage these achievements with our proven global regulatory and marketing expertise in the area of orphan drugs.’

Trophos is a clinical stage company with a pipeline of new molecular entities in development for motor neuron diseases ALS and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), as well as a novel compound for cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Damian Marron, chief executive of Trophos, added: ‘Since its inception, Trophos has made significant progress in turning its key expertise in neurodegenerative disorders and orphan diseases into achievements that include advancing our lead compound olesoxime into late stage clinical development.

‘The development of olesoxime has benefited from significant support from patient communities, clinical investigators and the European Union (EU), including Trophos spearheading an EU-funded consortium dedicated to improving the treatment of ALS.’

The two companies also agreed a research collaboration that will give Actelion access to Trophos' proprietary CNS assay technology and compound library. The technology mimics neuronal degeneration processes in the test tube and is used to screen chemical compounds for their ability to block these processes.

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