LAVAL, QC, April 4 /CNW Telbec/ - BELLUS Health Inc. (TSX: BLU) ("BELLUS
Health") announced today that it has signed an exclusive license and
distribution agreement (the "Agreement") with Agahan Ayandeye Pars Inc.
(the "Agahan Group") regarding BELLUS Health's VIVIMIND™, a patented
natural health product that has been shown to protect memory function.
Pursuant to the Agreement, BELLUS Health is granting the Agahan Group
exclusive distribution rights for VIVIMIND™ in Egypt, United Arab
Emirates, Pakistan, Iran and certain other Gulf states of strategic
importance to the Agahan Group. BELLUS Health retains all rights to
VIVIMIND™ with respect to Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The total
consideration to be paid by the Agahan Group to BELLUS Health consists
of an upfront payment, a regulatory milestone payment expected to be
received in the next 12 months, commercial milestone payments should
certain mutually agreed upon sales targets be achieved, and a tiered
royalty rate of 15 to 17 percent, depending on sales. The Agreement
also provides for BELLUS Health to supply the product to the Agahan
Group at a pre-agreed transfer price. The Agahan Group intends to
immediately proceed with obtaining regulatory approval for VIVIMIND™ in
the countries where it has exclusive distribution rights, following
which it will move quickly to launch the product through prescribing
physicians and direct-to-consumer pharmacy sales.
"This strategic transaction enables us to expand VIVIMIND™'s
international reach to over 430 million people in these large
Middle-Eastern markets. With its in-depth understanding of this region,
the Agahan Group is an ideal partner to realize VIVIMIND™'s full
commercial potential in this market," said Roberto Bellini, President
and Chief Executive Officer of BELLUS Health. "This transaction fits
within our strategy of forming partnerships with strong regional
industry players to build a worldwide distribution network for
VIVIMIND™. We are pursuing efforts to conclude similar partnerships in
other territories around the world," Mr. Bellini added.
"The Agahan Group has always put the utmost importance on providing
consumers with products that meet high standards of safety and
efficacy," said Dr. Seyed Hashemi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
of the Agahan Group. "VIVIMIND™, which is scientifically proven to help
support the hippocampus, the specific area of the brain responsible for
memory and learning, fits perfectly within our philosophy. It is the
ideal product to expand our portfolio into the attractive cognitive
health market, and we look forward to bringing this product to
consumers in the Middle East," Dr. Hashemi concluded.'
VIVIMIND™ is scientifically proven to help support the specific area of
the brain known as the hippocampus, a region responsible for memory and
learning. The active ingredient behind VIVIMIND™, homotaurine, is a
naturally occurring amino acid with unique properties found in certain
seaweeds. VIVIMIND™ is intended for use by normal aging adults.
VIVIMIND™ was subject to over 15 years of significant scientific
research, including clinical testing in over 2,000 individuals in
European, American and Canadian medical centres. In a large controlled
clinical study, VIVIMIND™ was shown to reduce hippocampus volume loss
in Alzheimer's patients by 68% over 18 months.1 Regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of VIVIMIND™ were obtained
in Italy and in Spain in 2009, and a Natural Health Product Number was
issued by Health Canada for VIVIMIND™ in September 2010.
1 Gauthier S. et al, Journal Nutrition Health Aging, 2009; 13 (6): 550-7.
About the Agahan Group
Founded in 1998, the Agahan Group is establishing a dominant position in
the territories where it operates, namely the United Arab Emirates,
Egypt, Iran and several other Middle Eastern countries. The Group's
mission is to become the basic source of products for health and
mental, physical and sexual well-being in the Middle East. The Agahan
Group is a conglomerate of companies comprising Agahan Laboratories,
Agahan Ayandeye Pars and Agahan Gostar, a wholly owned distribution
company. For further information, please visit www.agahangroup.com.
About BELLUS Health
BELLUS Health is a development-focused health company concentrating on
research and development of products that provide innovative health
solutions and address critical unmet medical needs. For further
information, please visit www.bellushealth.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this news release, other than statements
of fact that are independently verifiable at the date hereof, may
constitute forward-looking statements. Such statements, based as they
are on the current expectations of management, inherently involve
numerous risks and uncertainties, known and unknown, many of which are
beyond BELLUS Health Inc.'s control. Such risks include but are not
limited to: the impact of general economic conditions, general
conditions in the pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical industry, changes
in the regulatory environment in the jurisdictions in which the BELLUS
Health Group does business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in
costs, and changes to the competitive environment due to consolidation,
that actual results may vary once the final and quality-controlled
verification of data and analyses has been completed, as well as other
risks disclosed in public filings of BELLUS Health Inc. Consequently,
actual future results may differ materially from the anticipated
results expressed in the forward-looking statements. The reader should
not place undue reliance, if any, on any forward-looking statements
included in this news release. These statements speak only as of the
date made and BELLUS Health Inc. is under no obligation and disavows
any intention to update or revise such statements as a result of any
event, circumstances or otherwise, unless required by applicable
legislation or regulation. Please see the Annual Information Form of
BELLUS Health Inc. for further risk factors that might affect the
BELLUS Health Group and its business.
SOURCE BELLUS HEALTH INC.
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