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Acino Signs Exclusive License Agreement With Bioprojet for Treatment of Narcolepsy and Obstructive Sleeping Apnoea (OSA)


This agreement strengthens Acino’s position in the Central Nervous System (CNS) therapeutic area and paves the way for greater patient access to novel treatments of rare diseases in KSA

ZURICH, Switzerland, 14 June 2022
– Acino, a Swiss pharmaceutical company headquartered in Zurich, announced today that it has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Bioprojet, a French research-based pharmaceutical company, to register, market, commercialise, and distribute pitolisant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), with potential expansion to other countries in the Middle East.

Pitolisant is a selective histamine H3-receptor antagonist/inverse agonist that enhances the activity of histaminergic neurons in the brain. Pitolisant, a first-in-class drug, has an orphan designation in the EU and the US for the treatment of narcolepsy and was recently approved for the treatment of daytime sleepiness in OSA.

Under the agreement, Acino has the exclusive right to register, market, commercialise and distribute pitolisant in KSA. The product is expected to be launched in Saudi Arabia by 2025. Both parties agreed to extend this offering in the future to other countries in the Middle Eastern region and potentially, other emerging markets where Acino is operating.

“We are delighted to have formed this partnership with Bioprojet. Adding pitolisant to Acino’s portfolio marks an important milestone in our innovation journey,” said Steffen Saltofte, CEO Acino. “We continue to pursue our purpose of increasing patient access to quality healthcare, which includes collaborating with the leading biotech companies like Bioprojet to develop a pipeline of innovative specialty treatments for the benefit of our patients.”

“Bioprojet is pleased to partner with Acino, a medicines provider that is uniquely positioned to bring relief to patients in Saudi Arabia, suffering from narcolepsy or OSA disorders. Both are severe conditions, affecting the patient quality of life. We are confident that with the company’s expertise, Acino will help achieve significant patient life improvements,” said Prof. Jean-Charles Schwartz, one of Bioprojet co-founders.

This strategic partnership aligns with the goals of the Kingdom’s National Vision 2030 and Health Sector Transformation Programme, focused on quality, care and optimisation of treatment outcomes. It also follows close on the heels of the recently announced localisation agreements between Acino and Alpha Pharma and Batterjee Pharma, reinforcing the company’s commitment to KSA and its people.

Acino makes its contribution to local economies of the countries where it operates through strategic partnerships, local manufacturing agreements, new employment opportunities and educational programmes. With the global vision and strong local footprint, the company stands for consistently high-quality products for all, when and where they are needed most.
phone +41 44 555 22 00
email Acino International AG Thurgauerstrasse 36/38 CH-8050 Zurich
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