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Chiesi Group Enters into License Agreement with Santhera for a treatment for LHON

Date: 23/05/2019

Chiesi Farmaceutici, an international research focused healthcare group (Chiesi Group) has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Santhera Pharmaceutical, under which Chiesi Group will in-license an orphan drug whose active principle is idebenone for the treatment of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), an ultrarare hereditary disease causing a progressive vision loss.

 “We are delighted to be working with Chiesi Group, a global company with an established commercial infrastructure and a strong reputation for delivering innovation in rare diseases and areas of special care, including ophthalmology. We will work closely with Chiesi Group to ensure a smooth handover of this business and a seamless supply of this only approved medication for the treatment of this devastating form of vision loss to patients in need.”  said Thomas Meier, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Santhera.


 “Chiesi Group has a strong commitment in the orphan diseases area, bringing innovative treatments forward to patients affected by rare or ultra-rare disorders and improving the quality of life of people with rare diseases is one of the most important goals. This strategic partnership reinforces this commitment with a therapeutic offer for patients affected by LHON, a neurodegenerative disease targeting the optic nerve and characterized by sudden vision loss”, commented Ugo Di Francesco, Chief Executive Officer, Chiesi Group.


Santhera will license and transfer, subject to an option exercise, to Chiesi Group all of its rights for the development, commercialization and distribution of Raxone for the treatment of LHON and any other potential ophthalmological indications for all territories worldwide except the US and Canada. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary approvals and is currently expected to occur in the third quarter 2019.


About Chiesi Group   
Based in Parma, Italy, Chiesi Farmaceutici is an international research-oriented group with over 80 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical sector and is present in 27 countries. The group researches, develops and commercialises innovative medicines in the respiratory disease, special care and rare disease therapeutic areas. The Group’s Research & Development centre is based in Parma (Italy) and integrated with 6 other important research and development groups in France, the USA, the UK and Sweden, to promote its pre-clinical, clinical and registration programmes. The Group employs around 5,700 people.


About Santhera
Santhera Pharmaceuticals (SIX: SANN) is a Swiss specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative medicines for rare and other diseases with high unmet medical needs. The portfolio comprises clinical stage and marketed treatments for neuroophthalmological, neuromuscular and pulmonary diseases. For further information, please visit www.santhera.com.