Mergers and Acquisitions

Date: 2016-12-16

Type of information: Company acquisition

Acquired company: Ziarco Group (USA)

Acquiring company: Novartis (Switzerland)

Amount: undisclosed


* On December 16, 2016, Novartis announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Ziarco Group, a privately held company focused on the development of novel treatments in dermatology. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. The financial details of this transaction are not disclosed.



Novartis dermatology portfolio includes Cosentyx® (secukinumab) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis and Xolair® (omalizumab) for the treatment of chronic spontaneous urticaria. Ziarco's acquisition will add a once-daily oral H4 receptor antagonist, ZPL389, to treat atopic dermatitis to the Novartis pipeline. Investigational ZPL389 showed a clinically and statistically significant improvement of eczema lesions, leading to a 50% reduction in EASI score compared to placebo after eight weeks of treatment with a favorable safety profile
In a proof of concept study, ZPL389 showed a clinically and statistically significant reduction of eczema. After eight weeks of treatment, the compound reduced the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) score by 50% (placebo: 27%, (p=0.01)) in a study of 98 patients. In addition, there was a statistically significant improvement in SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) and body surface area (BSA) scores affected by eczema for ZPL389. The study also showed a decrease in itching, which was numerically greater in the active treatment arm. Both the EASI and SCORAD sub-scores related to itching showed positive results and there was a statistically significant decrease in sleep loss for the active comparator. Itch is a major cause for sleep loss in eczema patients[2]. In clinical studies conducted to date, ZPL389 has a favorable safety profile.


Dermatological diseases

Is general: Yes