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AbbVie acquires Syndesi Therapeutics in $1bn deal

The deal will allow AbbVie to access Syndesi’s research into Alzheimer's disease

AbbVie

AbbVie has announced its acquisition of Syndesi Therapeutics, further expanding AbbVie’s neuroscience portfolio.

The deal will allow AbbVie to access Syndesi’s research into the potential treatment of cognitive impairment and other symptoms associated with neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder and Alzheimer's disease.

AbbVie has been heavily involved in various Alzheimer’s projects, including an amyloid-beta drug the company believes could work against the degenerative disease. However, AbbVie’s R&D team has also been hindered by setbacks, including a decision to scrap a phase 2 tau-focused drug, ABBV-8E12, after failing to record efficacy.

The acquisition further reinforces AbbVie’s neurology pipeline, as four years ago, Syndesi Therapeutics gained the rights to UCB’s synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) programme, which aims to achieve synaptic efficiency, targeting the communication between neurons in the brain, which – most notably in Alzheimer’s – typically deteriorates as degenerative illnesses progress.

According to the terms of the $1bn agreement, Abbvie will pay Syndesi an upfront payment of $130m, with milestone payments of up to $870m.

Sharing his thoughts on the deal, Tom Hudson, senior vice president, R&D, chief scientific officer, AbbVie, said: "There is a major unmet need for new therapies that can help improve cognitive function in patients suffering from difficult-to-treat neurologic diseases."

"With AbbVie's acquisition of Syndesi, we aim to advance the research of a novel, first-in-class asset for the potential treatment of cognitive impairment associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders."

Speaking on behalf of Syndesi, Jonathan Savidge, chief executive officer, commented: "We have been impressed with the vision of AbbVie's neuroscience R&D team, who share our view on the therapeutic potential of SDI-118 in a range of neurologic diseases."

"It has been a pleasure to partner with our investors to investigate the potential of SDI-118 in early clinical studies. Now, as part of AbbVie, the programme is well positioned to move into later stages of clinical development."

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

2nd March 2022

From: Research

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