Ares Life Sciences to Acquire GREER(R) Laboratories, Inc., a Leader in Allergy Immunotherapy in the United States
March 8, 2013 - Geneva, Switzerland
Ares Life Sciences, a healthcare-focused investment group, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the share capital of Albion Medical Holdings, Inc., including its wholly owned subsidiary GREER® Laboratories, Inc., a leader in allergy immunotherapy in the United States. Closing of the transaction is subject to U.S. regulatory approvals and certain closing conditions.
"GREER has established itself as a leader in the U.S. allergy immunotherapy field, with excellent market knowledge, an extensive distribution network and strong recognition amongst the medical community," commented Jacques Theurillat, CEO of Ares Life Sciences.
"GREER, with its consistent track record, profitable growth and significant future potential, fits well with our investment strategy. In addition, it reinforces our commitment to the allergy field. We look forward to working with the management team to contribute to the company's expansion and its future success," Mr. Theurillat added.
GREER's clinical development programs are focused on the company's investigational sublingual allergy immunotherapy liquid (SAIL). The company recently completed a successful Phase III study evaluating the efficacy and safety of GREER® SAIL as a treatment for adults with short ragweed allergies. Sublingual allergy immunotherapy (SLIT) is a method of allergy immunotherapy that delivers the same liquid allergenic extract approved for subcutaneous injections, but it is administered under the tongue.
SLIT has been widely accepted as a safe, effective treatment for allergic rhinitis in Europe for years.(1) However, SLIT is currently investigational in the United States.
The U.S. Allergy Business
It is estimated that 10% to 30% of the global population suffers from allergic rhinitis.(2) In the United States, more than 40 million Americans suffer from allergic diseases(3), approximately half of whom are allergic to grass pollen. The current standard of care in allergy immunotherapy involves multiple injections of allergens which are prepared from bulk extract material. These injections are performed in a supervised medical setting. Currently, approximately 2 to 3 million Americans in the U.S. are treated with subcutaneous immunotherapy annually.(4) Allergy specialists often cite the time commitment and fear of injections deter some allergy sufferers from receiving allergy immunotherapy treatment. If cleared by the FDA, sublingual allergy immunotherapy as a treatment option, may allow more patients to opt for immunotherapy.
About GREER® Laboratories, Inc.
GREER® is a leading developer and provider of allergy immunotherapy products and services for treating humans and animals. Fully devoted to allergy immunotherapy, the company offers a full range of quality products and services for allergy immunotherapy to allergy specialists. The company operates through three business units: human allergy, veterinary allergy, and commercial development. Founded in 1904, GREER is located in Lenoir, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.greerlabs.com.
About Ares Life Sciences
Ares Life Sciences is a healthcare-focused investment group, whose financial backer is the Bertarelli family. Its strategy is to focus on key life sciences sectors, mainly: pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, medical diagnostics, and medical technology. Ares Life Sciences has a long-term view on investments and a core element of its investment strategy is to make available to its portfolio companies the collective experience and network of its team in the healthcare sector. Ares Life Sciences' portfolio currently includes investments in Stallergenes, Euromedic, and Esaote.
1. Canonica GW, Bousquet J, Casale T, Lockey R, Baena-Cagnani C et al. Sublingual
Immunotherapy: World Allergy Organization Position Paper 2009. World Allergy Organization Journal. 2009;2(11):223-281.
2. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, http://www.aaaai.org/about-the-aaaai/newsroom/allergy-statistics.aspx. Accessed March 7, 2013
3. Something in the air: airborne allergens. Pamphlet from Literature and Periodicals Library provided by thefreelibrary.com URL: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Something+in+the+air%3a+airborne+allergens-a015097319. Published March 1993. Accessed February 13, 2013.
4. Allergen Immunotherapy for Allergic rhinitis and Asthma. Cox L, Atwater S. Allergy Immunotherapy: a payer's perspective. Drug Benefits Trends. March 2008; (20 Supplement A). (page 5)
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