France-based Juvisé Pharmaceuticals has acquired global marketing rights, excluding the US and Canada, for Johnson & Johnson (J&J)’s multiple sclerosis (MS) therapy Ponvory (ponesimod).

The French company will also assume worldwide manufacturing duties for Ponvory from sites based in France and Switzerland. Juvisé secured the Ponvory rights from J&J’s subsidiary Actelion Pharmaceuticals.

The financial details of the deals were not disclosed, with Juvisé adding that the deal was funded by “a mix of capital increase, additional debt, and shareholder loan”. Furthermore, a European private credit manager, Bpifrance and Pemberton Asset Management, acquired a minority stake in Juvisé to fund Ponvory’s acquisition.

Ponvory is a once-daily oral selective sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1P1) modulator. The drug was the first oral disease-modifying treatment (DMT) to demonstrate superior efficacy compared to Sanofi’s Aubagio (teriflunomide), another first-line therapy for MS.

Ponvory has been approved by multiple regulatory bodies, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as a first-line treatment for adults with relapsing forms of MS. In December 2023, J&J sold the North American marketing rights for Ponvory to Vanda Pharmaceuticals for $100m.

Juvisé expects Ponvory to generate significant sales this year. The company forecast its revenues to reach €180m ($194m), up by approximately 38% compared to 2023. Ponvory’s sales are expected to account for about 24% of the total profits.

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The MS market is expected to generate $41.1bn in sales across 68 global markets by 2030, as per a GlobalData market analysis report. The European market for MS therapies is expected to be worth $8.8m in the same period. Roche’s Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) and NovartisKesimpta (ofatumumab) are expected to be market leaders in the space, bringing in sales of $6.3bn and $4.5bn in 2030, respectively.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

Juvisé has previously acquired marketing rights to multiple therapies from top pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis, AstraZeneca, and AbbVie. In 2022, the company acquired global rights for the combination antibiotic Pylera (bismuth subcitrate potassium, metronidazole, and tetracycline) from AbbVie. In 2019, Juvisé bought the global rights for two cancer therapies, Arimidex (anastrozole) and Casodex (bicalutamide), from AstraZeneca for an upfront payment of $181m.