Novartis partners with Phase 4 Partners and institutional investors to help create Mereo BioPharma Group Ltd

Jul 29, 2015
  • Novartis is spinning off three mid stage clinical assets to Mereo for further development in exchange for equity
  • Novartis will have a stake in the success of the development of these compounds, including receiving payments on milestones and royalties on future commercial sales
     
  • As a new UK based biotech company, Mereo's mission is to acquire and rapidly develop innovative medicines

Basel, July 29, 2015 - Novartis announced today a swap of clinical assets for equity with Mereo BioPharma Group Ltd. The deal involves compounds in areas of unmet medical need including BPS-804, to improve bone density in brittle bone syndrome, an orphan disease; BCT-197 for acute exacerbations in COPD, and BGS-649 for obese men with hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism to normalize testosterone levels.

Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will have an equity stake in Mereo and will share in the success of the development of these compounds, including a share on milestones and royalties on future commercial sales.

"We are pleased that through this deal with Mereo we have found a way to work together to bring these valued innovations to patients," said David Epstein, Head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Mereo is a recently formed specialty biopharmaceutical company based in the UK who focuses on the acquisition and development of innovative medicines, particularly in rare and specialist disease areas, through the acquisition of validated, mid stage development programs.

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The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by words such as "dedicated," "may," "planned," or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential new indications or labeling for, or regarding potential future revenues from. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of management regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that will be submitted or approved for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including unexpected clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the company's ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; general economic and industry conditions; global trends toward health care cost containment, including ongoing pricing pressures; unexpected manufacturing issues, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2014, the Group achieved net sales of USD 58.0 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 120,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

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