Zug, Switzerland, December 4, 2019 – Arvelle Therapeutics GmbH (“Arvelle”), an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative treatments to patients suffering from CNS disorders, today announces that Dr Otto Schwarz will join the Board of Arvelle Therapeutics as an Independent Director and serve as Chairman of the Board, with immediate effect.
Dr Otto Schwarz is a highly accomplished industry executive bringing 35 years of experience to Arvelle, having launched multiple major speciality products on a global basis. Most recently, Otto served as Executive Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Actelion Executive Committee, until the acquisition of Actelion by Johnson & Johnson. During his time at Actelion, Otto was responsible for 1300 employees, leading global operation activities including marketing strategy & sales, medical affairs, manufacturing and supply chain. Under Otto’s leadership, Actelion successfully launched specialty products Opsumit, Uptravi and Veletri, increasing total company sales to over CHF 2.4 billion by 2016, its last year as an independent company. Prior to Actelion, Otto also served as Executive Vice-President Commercial Operations at Nycomed, and Executive Board Member at Altana Pharma. He also spent nearly 20 years with Schering-Plough and Eli Lilly in Switzerland, Canada, the USA and Germany. Dr Otto Schwarz currently also serves as a non-Executive Director of Kiadis Pharma. Dr Otto Schwarz is an Austrian citizen and has a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry from Vienna University.
Commenting on the appointment, Mark Altmeyer, President and CEO of Arvelle Therapeutics, said: “We are delighted to welcome Otto as Chairman of the Board of Arvelle Therapeutics. Having launched several speciality products in Europe, Otto’s experience will be invaluable to us ahead of the planned MAA submission for cenobamate in H1 2020 and subsequent commercial launch. Following the recent approval from the FDA for cenobamate tablets as a treatment for focal-onset seizures in adults in the US, we are entering an exciting time in the Company’s development and I look forward to updating the market with our continued progress in due course.”
Commenting on his appointment, Dr Otto Schwarz said: “I am pleased to join the highly capable team at Arvelle Therapeutics. The data generated to date for cenobamate has been highly encouraging and I believe this product has the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from this debilitating condition. I look forward to working with the Company as they continue working towards approval for cenobamate in Europe.”
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About Arvelle Therapeutics
Arvelle Therapeutics is an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative solutions to patients suffering from CNS disorders. Arvelle is responsible for the development and commercialization of cenobamate, an investigational antiepileptic drug, in the European market. Arvelle is headquartered in Switzerland and received start-up financing of $207.5 million, one of the largest initial financing commitments for a European-‐focused biopharmaceutical company, with investments from a global syndicate including NovaQuest Capital Management, BRV Capital Management, LSP, H.I.G. BioHealth Partners, Andera Partners, F-Prime Capital and KB Investments. More information is available at http://Arvelletx.com.
Cenobamate was discovered by SK Biopharmaceuticals and SK life science and is a new FDA-approved anti-epileptic drug (AED) for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults. Cenobamate will be available in the U.S. pending review by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2020. In early 2019, SK Biopharmaceuticals entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Arvelle Therapeutics to develop and commercialize cenobamate in Europe.
Cenobamate is believed to reduce repetitive neuronal firing by inhibiting voltage-gated sodium currents and as a positive allosteric modulator of the GABAA ion channel. Cenobamate can be combined with other AEDs or used alone.
Global trials for adults with partial-onset seizures are ongoing to evaluate cenobamate’s long-term safety and additional clinical trials are investigating cenobamate in other seizure types.