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Dompe to Acquire 100% of Anabasis, an Italian Biopharmaceutical Ophthalmology Company.

MILAN -- Dompe, one of Italy's leading biopharmaceutical companies, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of Anabasis Srl, a privately held Italian research and development biopharmaceutical company, focused on ocular diseases. Anabasis, founded in 1999 by a group of Italian scientists who were among the first to study the use of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) - research which won Rita Levi-Montalcini the Nobel Prize - has advanced an ophthalmic formulation of NGF to preclinical and clinical stages for various diseases affecting both the anterior part of the eye, such as neurotrophic keratitis (NK) and dry eye, as well as the posterior part of the eye such as retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma.

In January 2011, Anabasis signed a licensing and co-development agreement with Dompe, which acquired a 49% stake in Anabasis and patent rights for the use of NGF to treat neurotrophic keratitis (NK). By the end of 2011 Dompe - thanks to its considerable experience in the manufacturing of recombinant proteins - has successfully achieved the development of a stable process suitable for industrial production of recombinant human NGF (rhNGF) at its biotechnological plant based in L'Aquila (Italy), which operates in compliance with GMPs and is authorized to produce recombinant proteins for human use.

Today, under the terms of the agreement, Dompe has become the sole shareholder of Anabasis by acquiring remaining 51% of its share capital for an undisclosed amount, including an immediate upfront and subsequent milestone payments related to the development and commercialization of NGF in pathological conditions.

"Anabasis is a unique opportunity for Dompe as it supports our wider project aimed at the expansion of the Group at international level" declared Sergio Dompe, President of the Company, "while the awareness of ophthalmic pathologies are steadily increasing, there is a real need for new approaches to treating them. This investment represents our responsible contribution to the Patients as it could offer significant treatment advantages over currently available therapeutic solutions".

The acquisition of Anabasis will lay the foundation stone of a new ophthalmology franchise and will create new strategic positions for Dompe in the very promising and dynamically growing ophthalmic area driven by unmet medical needs and aging population" stated Eugenio Aringhieri, Chief Executive Officer of Dompe. "Anabasis is an excellent addition to our growing pipeline and furthers our strategy of accessing high-growth segments of the international healthcare market, reducing our risk profile while focusing on patient needs".

"It is remarkable what our scientific co-founders have achieved in proving clinically that NGF have therapeutic potential for diseases of both the anterior and the posterior segment of the eye" said Dr. Francesco Sinigaglia, Chief Executive Officer of Anabasis. "We are now extremely pleased to join Dompe as it will provide Anabasis with the necessary resources and expertise to demonstrate the efficacy of products through regulatory clinical development. With the continued support of scientific founders Professors Stefano Bonini, Alessandro Lambiase, Paolo Rama and Luigi Aloe, we are confident that we will successfully contribute to bringing innovative treatments to patients at risk of loosing sight."

About Dompe Dompe is one of the main Italian biopharmaceutical companies, focused on advanced and innovative solutions for unmet medical needs. It is a fully-fledged company, capable of covering the entire pharmaceutical pipeline, from research & development through production and distribution. Drug discovery and the clinical development are performed thanks to its proprietary technologies and dedicated structures with specific skills - internationally validated - in the design of new drugs. The production site houses a biotech plant for the production of monoclonal antibodies, specializes in the formulation of oral, liquid and granular forms, and develops Primary Care drugs marketed in over 60 countries worldwide. In keeping with its strategy, Dompe invests in companies that energetically pursue innovation in medicine. Since 2009 it has been a key shareholder of Philogen, an Italian/Swiss biotech company working on biopharmaceutical products for the treatment of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and some eye diseases. In 2011 it acquired 49% of Anabasis, an Italian biotech company that develops innovative drugs using rhNGF (whose discovery won Rita Levi Montalcini the Nobel Prize), for serious eye diseases that currently have no effective treatments. In 2011 Dompe also acquired an interest in Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a leading name in molecular medicine that concentrates on R&D and the production of radiopharmaceuticals for molecular imaging and personalized medicine. Headquartered in Italy, in 2011 the Dompe 's turnover - including Amgen Dompe and Biogen Dompe - was of [euro]470 million, with more than 10% of own revenues invested in R&D. For online information about Dompe, please visit www.dompe.com

About Anabasis Anabasis is a private, Milan based, biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative therapies for the eye. The initial focus is NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) for the treatment of diseases affecting both the anterior part of the eye, such as neurotrophic keratitis (NK) and dry eye, as well as the posterior part of the eye such as glaucoma. While NK is an orphan disease, glaucoma represents one of the largest potential market opportunity in ophthalmology. These diseases can lead to severe vision loss and blindness.In January 2011, Dompe became Anabasis's parent company by acquiring 49% of its shares. Furthermore, Dompe acquired the worldwide rights for the development and the commercialization of NGF for NK. For online information about Anabasis, please visit www.anabasispharma.com
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Feb 28, 2012
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