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Mitsubishi buys Israel's NeuroDerm for $1.1bn

The deal will see it focus on a series of drug-device combinations for Parkinson’s disease, headed by phase III candidate ND0612

Parkinson's

Japan's Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has boosted its pipeline with a $1.1bn deal to buy NeuroDerm, an Israeli developer of central nervous system therapies.

The $39-per-share deal will see NeuroDerm merged with Mitsubishi's Israeli unit to become a wholly-owned subsidiary focusing on the development of a series of drug-device combinations for Parkinson's disease headed by phase III candidate ND0612.

The Parkinson's disease candidates will extend Mitsubishi's CNS portfolio in the US, which will see a major launch next month when the Japanese company introduces Radicava (edaravone), a new treatment for the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that was cleared by the FDA in May.

Adding ND0612 into the portfolio will help Mitsubishi meet its target of driving US sales to 80bn yen (around $725m) in fiscal 2020, said the firm.

The agreement comes shortly after NeuroDerm reported encouraging phase II data on ND0612 at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) congress, completely preventing so-called 'off episodes' - the muscle stiffness, slow movements, and difficulty starting movements known as 'freezing' that can occur between doses - in 42% of patients.

Off episodes remain a big problem for patients who have been on long term therapy with drugs such as levodopa, occurring in up to 50% of all patients on treatment for five years or more.

NeuroDerm's solution with ND0612 is to continuously deliver levodopa over 24 hours using a wearable device. By maintaining steady levodopa concentrations in the blood, the hope is that the drug device combination can reduce off-time and dyskinesias, the uncontrolled movements that are a common complication of current anti-Parkinson's drugs.

Caused by the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's, and is estimated to affect 7 to 10 million people worldwide.

ND0612 is being developed in two formats - a belt pump and a patch pump - for moderate and severe Parkinson's disease, and is scheduled to reach the market in 2019 if late-stage clinical testing and regulatory applications go to plan.

In addition ND0612, NeuroDerm has a pump formulation of apomorphine (ND0701) for severe Parkinson's disease and a transdermal patch delivering nicotine and opipramol (ND0801) for cognition disorders in phase II testing.

Article by
Phil Taylor

24th July 2017

From: Sales

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