AOP Orphan spins off its stake in Activartis and outlines business strategy

AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG today announced the spin off of its 80 % stake in Activartis GmbH, a Vienna-based biotech company with a strong platform for immune-based cancer vaccines, to a group of private investors.

The dendritic cell-based technology for individualized tumor therapy developed by Activartis is well patented and represents a unique therapeutic approach. Clinical development is at an advanced stage for glioblastoma, an incurable disease, and data from a multicentric, prospective trial are expected soon. Beyond glioblastoma, other indications are being pursued, since the technology can be used for virtually any kind of tumor.

“This spin-off has to be seen in the context of our development and commercialization strategy at AOP Orphan and is a consequence of Elan’s offer to acquire AOP Orphan,” commented Rudolf Widmann, CEO of AOP Orphan. “The goal of the Elan scenario would have been to pursue a course of rapid territorial expansion and the addition of several new orphan projects. However, AOP was a minor part of Elan’s management strategy, which included four business proposals, the main one being a royalty-based deal. This strategy was turned down by Elan’s shareholders.” 

“AOP Orphan is in a financial position to pursue its research programs as a stand-alone company, and the divestment of Activartis allows it to go for a separate global commercial business case for the cancer vaccine program. AOP Orphan will continue its research projects as planned in a timely manner and will launch at least two products within three years in the areas of hematology and cardiology.”

Besides the focus on its own pipeline, AOP Orphan is constantly seeking to add products to its commercialization platform. “We are a unique partner in our field for hospital and  orphan products. Being a fully integrated company, we offer a one-stop solution in Central/Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the CIS countries. In order to achieve a successful commercialization strategy with medical marketing, selling and distribution in this field, it is essential to have our own staff on the ground to handle this complicated field”, Rudolf Widmann added. “Based on our successful approach, we are currently adding two further products to be launched in 2013 by partners in North America to our portfolio, and we are negotiating a highly interesting research program for a genetic disease in phase I/II”, continued Rudolf Widmann. “All in all, our fifteen years of experience and consistent, double-digit growth allows us to pursue our unique business strategy in the area of hospital and orphan products with a focus on emerging markets.”

The sender takes full responsibility for the content of this news item. Content may include forward-looking statements which, at the time they were made, were based on expectations of future events. Readers are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements.

As a life sciences organization based in Vienna, would you like us to promote your news and events? If so, please send your contributions to news(at)