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ABVC BioPharma has entered a definitive global licensing agreement with the botanical drug biotech AiBtl for the former’s central nervous system (CNS) drugs in a deal potentially worth $667m.

US-based ABVC will receive 46 million shares from AiBtl worth $460m, along with $7m in milestone cash payments and 5% royalties of net sales for up to $200m. With the 46 million AiBtl shares, ABVC will hold 57% of the consolidated shares of AiBtl.

AiBtl also plans to get listed on Nasdaq with an initial public offering (IPO) of $10 per share in 2024, as per a 16 November press release. The licensed drugs owned by ABVC and its subsidiary BioLite include ABV-1504 for treating major depressive disorder (MDD) and ABV-1505 for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ABV-1504 and ABV-1505 are plant-based norepinephrine transporter (NET) inhibitors. ABV-1505 is currently in a Phase IIb trial (NCT05202327). ABVC has completed Phase II trials for ABV-1504 and has met with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finalise the Phase III trial protocols, as per a 15 November press release.

MDD drugs are expected to generate $7.8bn in sales in 2029 across the eight major pharmaceutical markets, as per a GlobalData report.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

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By GlobalData

“We will help ABVC conduct international business development for the MDD and ADHD markets and bridge the partnership with international pharmaceutical companies,” said AiBtl CEO Russman Jaimes in a 16 November press release.

“Meanwhile, we will take advantage of our collaborative project in the Asian Special Economic Zone to develop good agricultural practices for the raw material of botanical new drugs to supply the global markets.”

Other products in ABVC’s pipeline include ABV-1601 for treating depression in cancer patients, and four preclinical oncology drugs for treating triple-negative breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, myelodysplastic syndrome, and pancreatic cancer.