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Lundbeck snaps up Abide Therapeutics for $400m

Also acquires its lead drug for Tourette’s syndrome

Lundbeck

Danish drugmaker Lundbeck has moved to bolster its pipeline with a $400m deal to acquire Abide Therapeutics and its lead drug for Tourette’s syndrome and neuropathic pain.

The deal – which comes a few months after Lundbeck recruited new chief executive Deborah Dunsire to orchestrate a turnaround of the business – includes an upfront payment of $250m and another $150m in development and sales milestones.

Neuroscience specialist Lundbeck has been facing declining sales of its older drugs and needs to reinvigorate its pipeline, a task made more difficult as developing neurology and psychiatry drugs is notoriously challenging.

Efforts to bring forward its own drugs have been undermined by a couple of late-stage failures, including idalopirdine for Alzheimer’s disease and Lu AF35700 for treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

Under the deal, Lundbeck will gain access the US biotech’s lead candidate ABX 1431, a potential first-in-class inhibitor of the serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL), as well as a discovery platform targeted at serine hydrolases based at a research unit in La Jolla, California.

The Abide deal is the first for Dunsire, although her interim predecessor Anders Götzsche – who took the helm for a few months after former CEO Kåre Schultz was poached by Teva – agreed a $1.1bn deal last year to buy Prexton Therapeutics and its mid-stage Parkinson’s disease candidate foliglurax.

“The acquisition of Abide provides us with a differentiated chemo-proteomic platform to discover new classes of drugs for a broad spectrum of brain diseases starting with those that harness the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system,” she said.

ABX 1431 is in a phase 2a trial in Tourette’s syndrome – which is characterised by involuntary sounds and tics – on the premise that MGLL regulates a key system that serves as a natural brake on excessive brain signalling. Results are due later this year.

Meanwhile, a phase 1 titration study is also ongoing in neuropathic pain, enrolling subjects with post-herpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy and other indications.

Lundbeck said that the deal will be financed using existing cash reserves and will have no impact on its previously issued financial guidance.

Article by
Phil Taylor

7th May 2019

From: Sales

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