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Alkermes boosts CNS presence with $950m Rodin acquisition

Follows company making job cuts in September as part of cost-saving efforts

Alkermes

Alkermes has penned a deal to acquire Rodin Therapeutics for up to $950m – after cutting approximately 160 jobs in September as part of its cost-saving efforts. 

At the time, Alkermes said that the job cuts would result in savings of around $150m, which it would use on ‘measures related to external spend’.

Rodin is a Boston, US-based biotech with a focus on the development of small molecule therapeutics for synaptopathies – diseases of the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nervous system relating to a dysfunction of synapses.

The deal will see Alkermes expand its reach into central nervous system (CNS) diseases, by gaining a portfolio of pre-clinical assets for Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and depression.

“Rodin's targeted approach to strengthening synaptic integrity is backed by a robust translational strategy and may have potential across multiple diseases which are characterised by impaired neuronal and synaptic function,” said Adam Rosenberg, chief executive officer of Rodin.

Alkermes has been struggling since its antidepressant candidate – ALKS 5461 – was rejected by the FDA, which cited a need for ‘additional well-controlled trials’ as the basis of the rejection.

According to Alkermes’ pipeline, this candidate is no longer under development, with only three assets for schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and immuno-oncology currently in its portfolio.

Much now rests on the Rodin deal, with Alkermes likely hoping it can expand its portfolio significantly with promising new growth products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Alkermes will pay Rodin an upfront cash payment of $100m, and Rodin will then be eligible for future payments of up to $850m upon achievement of certain clinical and regulatory milestones.

The upfront cash payment will be funded by Alkermes’ available cash and accounted for as an asset acquisition – with almost all of the upfront payment recorded as an R&D expense.

"Building on our broad experience in psychiatry, we believe this transaction will allow us to explore a wide array of neurodegenerative diseases and synaptopathies, which have been areas of significant interest to us as we have advanced our internal pipeline of medicines for CNS disorders,” said Richard Pops, chief executive officer of Alkermes.

“This investment is reflective of our longstanding commitment to bring new and innovative therapeutic options to patients living with chronic CNS diseases where the unmet medical need is high,” he added.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of November 2019.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

19th November 2019

From: Sales

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