AFT Pharmaceuticals (AFT’) has reached agreement with privately-owned Swiss headquartered multinational pharmaceutical company, Acino Pharma AG (Acino’), to out-license the product line of its patented combination painkiller, Maxigesic, to a further 69 countries. Maxigesic consists of a patented fixed ratio of ibuprofen for anti-inflammation management and paracetamol (also called acetaminophen) for pain management. Maxigesic products will cover tablet, sachet, oral liquid, fast-dissolve and intravenous formulations.
Countries and product ranges covered by the AFT-Acino agreements are in four geographic regions.
- Saudi Arabia and Yemen: for all oral dose forms of Maxigesic and for Maxigesic IV.
- Central America and Caribbean: (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama; Dominican Republic, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, and Cuba) for all oral dose forms of Maxigesic
- Africa: (Comores, Djibouti, Madagascar, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sao Tome/Principe, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Togo, Cape Verde Islands, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, and Rwanda; Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, and Somalia; and Southern Africa: Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Angola, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Seychelles, Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho for all oral dose forms of Maxigesic and for Maxigesic IV.
- North Africa & Levant [NAL]: (Western Sahara, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Jordon) for all oral dose forms of Maxigesic and for Maxigesic IV.
These types of agreements were foreshadowed in AFT’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), issued as part of its recent float on the NZX Main Board and ASX.
AFT Managing Director, Dr Hartley Atkinson, says that he is pleased to announce substantial progress towards the objectives outlined in the PDS.
“Out-licensing of our key innovative products, like Maxigesic, forms the backbone of our company growth plans,” says Dr Atkinson. “This transaction is a good example of AFT just getting on with the job by partnering with Acino, a Swiss-based international pharmaceutical company operating in selected emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and CIS. We had disclosed our target to sell Maxigesic to 100 countries in the PDS and these 69 countries in addition to existing licensing agreements represent significant progress towards our stated goals”
“It also illustrates the point that selling our products to new international markets doesn’t mean AFT has to set up our own costly operating infrastructure inside each region/country. Rather, we can partner with established companies, like Acino, who know their respective markets and already have an established brand there.”
The market sizes covered by these territories are significant. The tablet market for the IMS defined paracetamol and ibuprofen products alone (i.e. not including oral liquids, sachets, or IV products) aggregates to at least US$500 million annually.
Hartley Atkinson added, “As we’ve done here, the key is to get the alliance agreements in place and then work through the local regulatory approval and sales processes on a case-by-case basis with strong partners like Acino.”
“We see partnering as a key growth driver for Acino’s strategy and we are interested in novel products while providing our partners access to new customers in emerging markets. Adding the Maxigesic fixed combination formulations to our product portfolio will strengthen our offer in one of our core therapeutic areas pain and rheumatology as these formulations are perfectly complementary to our existing well established brands,” says Jostein Davidsen, CEO Acino Group.
Ferghana Partners (New York, London, Boston) initiated these transactions and provided strategic/financial advisory services to AFT Pharma.
Acino, a Swiss pharmaceutical company headquartered in Zurich, develops, manufactures and internationally markets well-proven and innovative pharmaceuticals in novel drug delivery forms. Acino is a leader in advanced drug delivery technologies with a focus on modified release oral forms, oral dispersible forms, transdermal systems and extended release parenterals, for which it also holds patents.
As a partner of pharmaceutical companies worldwide, Acino supplies finished in-house developed products and/or provides customized one-stop solutions from product development and registration to contract manufacturing, packaging and logistics. Under the brand “Acino Switzerland”, Acino markets Swiss-quality medicines in emerging markets with a focus on the Middle East, Africa, Russia/CIS and Latin America.
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