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ALK and bioCSL enter into a partnership for allergy

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Feb. 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ALK ( ALKB:DC / OMX: ALK B / AKABY / AKBLF) and bioCSL announce a partnership in Australia and New Zealand which grants bioCSL exclusive rights to promote and sell ALK's SLIT-tablets against house dust mite and grass pollen allergy, and ALK's Jext (r) adrenaline auto-injector.

ALK and bioCSL today announced that they have entered into a long-term partnership covering three ALK products in Australia and New Zealand. The agreement grants bioCSL exclusive rights in Australia and New Zealand to ALK's sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablets (SLIT-tablets) for house dust mite (HDM) allergy and grass pollen allergy (marketed as GRAZAX(r) in Europe and GRASTEK(r) in North America), and its adrenaline auto-injector, Jext(r). ALK will be responsible for product supply and bioCSL will undertake registration and commercialisation of the products.

Allergic rhinitis is one of the most common respiratory illnesses in Australia and affects approximately 18% of the population.1 Furthermore, it frequently coexists with other allergic conditions such as asthma and sinusitis.1 The disease may impact many aspects of life such as sleep, social and leisure activities, work and general day to day functioning.2

"We recognise that access to more therapy options is very important to Australian healthcare professionals and allergy sufferers," said bioCSL's General Manager, Dr John Anderson. "We are delighted to work with ALK for the distribution, marketing and sales of these products which are important additions to bioCSL's growing product range and further strengthens our broad portfolio of in-licensed medicines in Australia," he said.

As part of the agreement, ALK will receive a minor upfront payment of an undisclosed amount, followed by a milestone payment upon approval of the HDM SLIT-tablet in Australia. ALK will sell products to bioCSL at a pre-agreed price structure ensuring a certain split of the final in-market revenues generated by bioCSL.

Jens Bager, President and CEO of ALK says: "Expanding the reach of ALK's products by entering new growth markets is an important part of our strategy. bioCSL is an attractive partner being a large local pharmaceutical company in Australia with a prominent track record in vaccines and adrenaline auto-injectors. Australia and New Zealand are markets with resilient economies, substantial allergy prevalence and developing allergy immunotherapy markets."

The partnership with bioCSL advances ALK's strategy of broadening its geographical presence through partnerships, acquisitions or by establishing its own affiliates.

This announcement does not impact ALK's financial guidance for 2015.

ALK-Abello A/S

For further information please contact:
Jens Bager, President and CEO, tel. +45 4574 7576
Investor Relations: Per Plotnikof, tel. +45 4574 7527, mobile +45 2261 2525
Media: Martin Barlebo, tel. +45 4574 7901, mobile +45 2064 1143

References:
1ASCIA 2014. Allergy in Australia 2014. A submission for allergic diseases to be recognised as a National Health Priority Area
2 AIHW 2011, Allergic rhinitis ('hay fever') in Australia. Cat no. ACM 23. Canberra: AIHW

About bioCSL
In Australia and New Zealand, bioCSL markets a comprehensive range of vaccines and pharmaceutical products. It manufactures seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine for global markets. bioCSL also produces products of national significance for Australia, including antivenoms and Q-Fever vaccine, and supplies diagnostic reagents in the Australasia region. bioCSL's cold-chain logistics business provides services for bioCSL and CSL Behring products, as well as commercial and government customers across Australia.

bioCSL is part of the CSL Group which is headquartered in Melbourne Australia. The CSL Group includes CSL Behring, CSL Plasma and bioCSL, and has major facilities in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the USA, with over 13,000 employees working in more than 27 countries. Find more information at www.biocsl.com.au .

About allergy in Australia
Allergies are the fastest growing chronic diseases in Australia and include allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic asthma, food, insect and drug allergies, and eczema. Approximately 20% of the Australian population have at least one allergic disease. Allergic disease most commonly presents in children and adolescents and often persists into adulthood with significant impact on quality of life. It is predicted that by 2050 there will be 7.7 million Australians affected by allergic diseases, an increase of 70% from current estimates2.

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), the leading medical and patient organisations for allergy in Australia, are developing a National Allergy Strategy for Australia, whereby allergic diseases would be recognised as a National Health Priority Area and a prioritised as a chronic disease2.

About ALK
ALK is a research-driven global pharmaceutical company focusing on allergy prevention, diagnosis and treatment. ALK is the world leader in allergy immunotherapy - a unique treatment of the underlying cause of allergy. The company has approximately 1,800 employees with subsidiaries, production facilities and distributors worldwide. ALK has entered into partnership agreements with Merck and Torii to commercialise sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablets in North America and Japan, respectively. The company is headquartered in Hoersholm, Denmark, and listed on NASDAQ Copenhagen. Find more information at www.alk.net.

Source: ALK-Abello