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Juvisé Pharmaceuticals Acquires Multiple Sclerosis Drug PONVORY® (ex-US/Canada) and Opens Its Capital to Bpifrance and Pemberton
[March 26, 2024]

Juvisé Pharmaceuticals Acquires Multiple Sclerosis Drug PONVORY® (ex-US/Canada) and Opens Its Capital to Bpifrance and Pemberton

The French pharmaceutical company, Juvisé Pharmaceuticals, announces the acquisition of global commercial rights (excluding the United States and Canada) to Ponvory® (ponesimod) from Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a Johnson & Johnson Company (Johnson & Johnson). Ponvory® is indicated for the treatment of adults with active forms of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS); it is protected by several patents, the latest of which expires in 2035. To fund this acquisition, the French sovereign fund Bpifrance and Pemberton Asset Management ('Pemberton'), a leading European private credit manager, have acquired a minority stake in Juvisé Pharmaceuticals. Financial details of these transactions remain undisclosed.

"We are very excited about Ponvory® and its potential to have a very positive impact on the lives of patients with multiple sclerosis" announces Frédéric Mascha, founder and President of Juvisé Pharmaceuticals. "This acquisition is a strategic step for Juvisé as it expands our portfolio with the first patent protected product with strong development potential over the coming years. It is in line with what we have been doing for the past 16 years, which is providing essential medications to patients and specialist doctors. Following our latest partnerships established with Novartis, AstraZeneca and AbbVie, we are proud to establish a new partnership with a major pharmaceutical company and to have two strong partners such as Bpifrance and Pemberton enter our capital to support our future growth."

The acquisition of Ponvory®: a strategic move in Juvisé Pharmaceuticals' growth strategy

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune pathology affecting over 2.5 million patients worldwide and enjoys therapeutic innovation.

Ponvory® (ponesimod) is a first-line treatment option in active forms of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS), which is the most common form of the disease (approximately 8% of patients), affecting particularly women around the age of 30-years-old. Ponvory® is the first oral Disease Modifying Treatment (DMT) to demonstrate superior efficacy compared to teriflunomide in a large head-to-head Phase III study (OPTIMUM) in adult patients with active RMS. Ponvory® demonstrated a 30.5% reduction in Annualized Relapse Rate (primary endpoint), as well as reduction in MRI activity and fatigue (secondary endpoints). (1)

Juvisé Pharmaceuticals will leverage its expertise in medical affairs, marketing, and distribution to commercialize and develop Ponvory® outside of the United States and Canada, with a focus on Europe, skills that the company has already demonstrated with the successful European relaunch of Pylera® in 2023. Juvisé Pharmaceuticals will work closely with Johnson & Johnson to ensure a seamless transition and continuous availability of Ponvory® for patients. Ponvory® is currently available in 30 countries, with the objective of expanding this scope. Finally, Juvisé Pharmaceuticals will assume the worldwide manufacturing duties for Ponvory® from sites based in France and Switzerland.

Juvisé Pharmaceuticals opens its capital to Bpifrance and Pemberton

The acquisition of Ponvory® is funded by a mix of capital increase, additional debt, and shareholder loan.

Bpifrance, the French sovereign fund financing businesses in their development, and Pemberton, a leading European private credit manager, have acquired a minority stake in Juvisé as part of the transaction.

About Juvisé Pharmaceuticals

Since its creation in 2008, Juvisé Pharmaceuticals has played a pivotal role in enhancing patient care by providing access to treatments with high medical value. Juvisé re-prioritized essential medicines in oncology (breast and prostate cancer), cardiology, gastroenterology, neuropsychiatry, and rheumatology, making them accessible to over 4.4 million patients every year. Juvisé Pharmaceuticals is present through its products in 80 countries in the world on five continents and relocates the production of its acquired medications in Europe, with 81% being manufactured in Europe and 51% in France. In 2024, Juvisé Pharmaceuticals revenues are expected to reach about 180M€ (+38% vs 2023) with PONVORY® accounting for about 24%.

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Lazard acted as financial advisor to Juvisé Pharmaceuticals and its shareholders.

Bird & Bird, Latham & Watkins and Bredin Prat acted as legal counsel to Juvisé Pharmaceuticals.

Société Générale remains the lead banking partner for Juvisé Pharmaceuticals.

1. Kappos L, Fox RJ, Burcklen M, Freedman MS, Havrdová EK, Hennessy B, Hohlfeld R, Lublin F, Montalban X, Pozzilli C, Scherz T, D'Ambrosio D, Linscheid P, Vaclavkova A, Pirozek-Lawniczek M, Kracker H, Sprenger T. Ponesimod Compared With Teriflunomide in Patients With Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis in the Active-Comparator Phase 3 OPTIMUM Study: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Neurol. 2021 May 1;78(5):558-567. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.0405. PMID: 33779698; PMCID: PMC8008435

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