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Alfasigma Signs an Agreement with Galapagos to Buy Jyseleca Drug Assets

As part of the transaction, Galapagos will also transfer to Alfasigma the European and U.K. marketing authorizations and related commercial, medical, and development activities, as well as about 400 employees in 14 European countries with strong specialized and managerial skills in areas such as R&D, Medical Affairs, Market Access, Marketing, and Sales.




Alfasigma spa, a Bologna-based pharmaceutical company and one of the leading ones in Italy, announced the signing of a letter of intent to acquire the entire Jyseleca drug business from Galapagos, a global biotechnology company based in Belgium. Galapagos develops innovative drugs in oncology and immunology, listed on both Euronext Amsterdam and Nasdaq.

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The law firm Chiomenti advised Alfasigma with the pharma, healthcare & life science team.

The deal comes as the Italian group is also engaged in the takeover of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, a Nasdaq-listed U.S. biopharmaceutical company active in the treatment of rare and severe liver diseases. In fact, the two companies entered into a definitive merger agreement in late September under which Alfasigma will acquire Intercept for $19 per share in cash.

Returning to the new deal with Galapagos, this one for the Jyseleca business will receive from Alfasigma an upfront payment of €50 million, potential milestone payments totaling €120 million, and single- or double-digit royalties on sales in Europe. Galapagos will in turn pay Alfasigma up to €40 million by June 2025 for development activities related to Jyseleca.

Jyseleca, the brand under which Galapagos markets the drug filgotinib, is a single-day oral JAK1 inhibitor, a new class of drugs characterized by an innovative mechanism of action and two approved indications: rheumatoid arthritis (launch in 2020) and ulcerative colitis (launch in 2021).

As part of the transaction, Galapagos will also transfer to Alfasigma the European and U.K. marketing authorizations and related commercial, medical, and development activities, as well as about 400 employees in 14 European countries with strong specialized and managerial skills in areas such as R&D, Medical Affairs, Market Access, Marketing, and Sales. In addition, the transaction will strengthen Alfasigma’s pipeline with the addition of a new Phase 3 program aimed at extending Jyseleca’s label to a third indication.

Dr. Paul Stoffels, CEO and president of Galapagos, added, “We believe the planned transaction with Alfasigma represents the best possible outcome for our employees, patients, medical specialists, our stakeholders, and Jyseleca. I want to recognize the tremendous efforts and valuable contributions of our talented teams to effectively bring Jyseleca to many patients throughout Europe. I am confident that they will also be able to succeed as part of Alfasigma.”

With this transaction, Alfasigma plans to significantly expand its presence in the Northern European markets (Germany, the UK and Ireland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland), where most of Jyseleca’s sales are concentrated. In addition, the Group will consolidate its position in Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, and France), where Alfasigma already has a significant presence.

Stefano Golinelli, president of Alfasigma, said, “The transaction announced today makes a concrete contribution to our company’s ambitious growth strategy, consolidating and expanding our presence in several European markets. In addition, the acquisition of Jyseleca will help further strengthen our portfolio in the gastrointestinal field, while allowing us access to the rheumatology market.”

Francesco Balestrieri, CEO of Alfasigma, said, “We are very pleased to have signed the Letter of Intent with Galapagos and are excited to acquire the Jyseleca business. This transaction is an important development opportunity for both companies and represents another milestone in our journey of international transformation and growth, fitting into our company’s core business areas. We are delighted to welcome Galapagos’ Jyseleca team into Alfasigma following the completion of the process and look forward to working together to continue our innovation journey.”

The Alfasigma group was formed in 2015 from the merger of Alfa Wassermann, founded in 1948 by Mariano Golinelli, and the Cavazza family’s Sigma-Tau, with the Golinellis owning about 75 percent of the capital and the Cavazzas 20 percent downstream of the merger, and with the remaining 5 percent in NB Renaissance’s portfolio, a legacy of the stake first held by Intesa Sanpaolo in Sigma Tau, which was then merged into the new entity after the merger. In 2020, the two families also acquired a 5 percent stake in NB Renaissance.

The merger between the two companies created a pharmaceutical champion, with 2021 revenues exceeding 1 billion euros and 2022 revenues of €1.2 billion, €247.7 million in EBITDA, and net financial debt of €95 million. All this is not to mention that in August 2022 the group also bought 100 percent of Sofar, another Italian pharmaceutical, medical device, and supplement company.

Alfasigma is present in more than 100 countries through 17 subsidiaries and distributors, with a portfolio of more than 100 products and about 3,000 employees worldwide. The historic headquarters is Bologna ,which is joined by Milan. The research and development centers are in Pomezia and in the Kilometro Rosso Science and Technology Park in Bergamo, while the 6 production sites are in Italy, in Pomezia (Rome), Alanno (Pesaro), Sermoneta (Latina) and Trezzano Rosa (MilanoI) and abroad in Tortosa in Spain and Shreveport (Louisiana) in the United States.


(Featured image by jarmoluk via Pixabay)

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First published in Be Beez. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Michael Jermaine Cards is a business executive and a financial journalist, with a focus on IT, innovation and transportation, as well as crypto and AI. He writes about robotics, automation, deep learning, multimodal transit, among others. He updates his readers on the latest market developments, tech and CBD stocks, and even the commodities industry. He does management consulting parallel to his writing, and has been based in Singapore for the past 15 years.