Press Release: Gentium Acquires Italian Defibrotide Marketing Rights from Crinos
Gentium Acquires Italian Defibrotide Marketing Rights from Crinos Gentium S.p.A. today announced that on December 28, 2006 the Company agreed to acquire the Italian marketing authorizations for Defibrotide and related trademarks, as well as certain other related assets, from Crinos S.p.A. (Crinos) for EUR 16 million in cash and other considerations, as described below. The purchase price will be paid in three installments, consisting of EUR 8 million at closing, EUR 4 million by December 31, 2007 and EUR 4 million by December 31, 2008. Gentium and Crinos also have agreed to enter into a distribution agreement whereby Crinos will be entitled to distribute only the oral formulation of Defibrotide in Italy until December 31, 2008. In addition Crinos has agreed to waive its right of first refusal to market future therapeutic indications for Defibrotide in the European market. In return, Gentium has agreed to pay Crinos a 1.5% royalty on net sales of Defibrotide for the treatment and/or prevention of hepatic veno-occulsive disease (VOD) in Europe for seven years. Commenting on the transaction, Laura Ferro, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Gentium, said, "Acquiring the Italian marketing rights for Defibrotide from Crinos is a major milestone for Gentium as it allows us to better manage this key asset in the European markets. It also gives us control over its distribution and the flexibility to market Defibrotide ourselves or alternatively seek marketing partners in the European market, both of which have long been strategic objectives. We specifically structured this transaction to spread the payments to Crinos out over a two year time period thereby minimizing the impact to our ongoing development activities." "We have made significant progress with our clinical development of Defibrotide and consider today's announcement a strategic investment in its future potential. We are confident this investment will allow Gentium to maximize the value of its Defibrotide asset in a number of important clinical applications," concluded Dr. Ferro. About Gentium Gentium S.p.A. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, discovery and development of drugs derived from DNA extracted from natural sources, and drugs that are synthetic derivatives, to treat and prevent a variety of vascular diseases and conditions related to cancer and cancer treatments. Defibrotide, the Company's lead product candidate in the U.S., is an investigational drug that has been granted Orphan Drug status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat Severe VOD and Fast Track designation for the treatment of Severe VOD in recipients of stem cell transplants. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains "forward-looking statements." In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential" or "continue," the negative of these terms and other comparable terminology. These statements are not historical facts but instead represent the Company's belief regarding future results, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside the Company's control. It is possible that actual results may differ, possibly materially, from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. For a discussion of some of the risks and important factors that could affect future results, see the discussion in our Form 20F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the caption "Risk Factors."