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Lundbeck to acquire Prexton for up to EUR 900 million

16.03.2018 12:58

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Lundbeck will acquire Prexton Therapeutics adding foliglurax, an innovative treatment for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, to its pipeline. Prexton, founded 2012 in Geneva, was the first spin-off from Merck-Serono.

H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck) and Prexton Therapeutics (Prexton) today announced signing of a definitive agreement in which Lundbeck will acquire Prexton. Under terms of the agreement, Lundbeck will pay EUR 100 million upfront and is furthermore required to later pay up to EUR 805 million in development and sales milestones to the group of current owners.

Prexton applies a new scientific approach that fully integrates molecular, behavioral and chemistry technologies to address Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. By acquiring Prexton, Lundbeck will obtain global rights of an attractive compound (foliglurax) which currently is in clinical phase II testing for symptomatic treatment of OFF-time reduction in Parkinson’s disease and dyskinesia including Levodopa Induced Dyskinesia (LID). First data from the ongoing clinical phase II programme is expected to be available during the first half of 2019.

Prexton was founded in 2012 as the first spin-off company from Merck Serono after the decision to close the subsidiary in Geneva. Prexton was supported by Merck’s Entrepreneur Partnership Program and is hosted in the offices and laboratory of Eclosion, a life-sciences start-up incubator in Geneva. The start-up team went through the Innosuisse coaching and was awarded the CTI startup label in 2016.

"By acquiring Prexton, Lundbeck will obtain global rights to foliglurax, an exciting first-in-class compound, and gain full control of the asset," said Anders Götzsche, interim CEO and CFO at Lundbeck. "Foliglurax addresses high unmet needs with its potential indication in Parkinson’s fitting perfectly within Lundbeck’s core areas and this treatment option also appears to be highly interesting for patients, physicians and payors."

Foliglurax works by stimulating a specific glutamatergic target (mGluR4) which activates a compensatory neuronal system in the brain which is largely unaffected in Parkinson’s disease. Animal models have convincingly demonstrated positive effects in models of Parkinson’s disease. The aim is to treat the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as resting tremor, muscle rigidity and uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia).

Deal terms
Lundbeck will pay EUR 100 million upfront to the current investors of Prexton Therapeutics BV. Furthermore, Lundbeck is required to pay up to EUR 805 million in development, regulatory and sales milestones depending on successful outcome of certain undisclosed milestones. More than half of the EUR 805 million is connected to sales milestones.

(SK)

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