The Korea Herald


SK Biopharmaceuticals signs license deal to introduce its epilepsy med in the Middle East, Africa

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Aug. 18, 2023 - 16:03

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The corporate logo of SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. (SK Biopharmaceuticals) The corporate logo of SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. (SK Biopharmaceuticals)

SK Biopharmaceuticals announced Friday that it had signed an out-licensing deal with Hikma MENA FZE, the Middle East and North Africa unit of British drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals, for its epilepsy medication Cenobamate.

Cenobamate is a medication for partial-onset seizures in adults. The drug is currently sold under the brand name Xcopri in the US and Ontozry in Europe.

Under the agreement, Hikma MENA FZE is granted rights to commercialize Xcopri in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“With the latest strategic partnership with Hikma, SK Biopharmaceuticals has secured a bridgehead that will help the company increase its market share in the MENA region,” SK Biopharmaceuticals CEO Lee Dong-hoon said.

According to SK Biopharmaceutical, the anti-epilepsy market in the MENA region is estimated at $442 million.

SK Biopharmaceuticals will also receive an additional upfront payment of $20 million for providing Hikma with priority rights for negotiating over future products launched by SK Biopharmaceuticals in the MENA region.

SK Biopharmaceuticals said the company will reinvest the money from the latest research and development deals for merger and acquisitions.