On Friday, SK Biopharmaceuticals Co., a SK Group-affiliated pharmaceutical company, declared that it had reached an arrangement with the Middle Eastern branch of British drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc. concerning a license and commercialization deal.
Under the agreement, Hikma MENA FZE was given a sole license to create and distribute SK Biopharm’s signature anti-epilepsy medication, cenobamate, in sixteen nations within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), including Saudi Arabia and Egypt. SK Biopharm will receive an initial payment of $3 million and royalties based on sales.
The anti-epilepsy market in the populous MENA region is estimated to be worth $442 million, according to SK Biopharm.
Cenobamate, a drug for partial-onset seizures in adults, was discovered by SK Biopharm and its U.S. subsidiary SK Life Science. It was approved for medical use in the United States in late 2019 and in Europe in 2021. It is sold under the brand names Xcopri in the U.S. and Ontozry in Europe.
In addition, the two companies also made a strategic partnership that grants Hikma priority negotiating rights for any future products released by SK Biopharm in the MENA region. As a result, SK Biopharm will receive an upfront payment of $20 million.
SK Biopharm stated that it plans to use the new funds to strengthen its research and development and to pursue new business opportunities through mergers and acquisitions.
The corporate logo of SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)