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Lundbeck to Acquire Prexton Therapeutics for Up-to-$1.1B

H. Lundbeck has agreed to acquire Prexton Therapeutics for up to €905 million ($1.1 billion), the companies said today, in a deal that adds a Phase II Parkinson’s disease candidate to the buyer’s pipeline focused on neurological as well as psychiatric disorders.

Lundbeck has agreed to pay Prexton €100 million ($122.9 million) upfront, and up to €805 million ($989.1 million) in payments tied to achieving development and sales milestones.

“We are very excited to be working with Lundbeck, a company with a strong history and focus on diseases of the central nervous system,” Prexton founder and CEO François Conquet, Ph.D., said in a statement. “Lundbeck shares our vision for the development of foliglurax to help patients living with Parkinson’s disease.”

Dr. Conquet founded Prexton in 2012 with M Ventures, the corporate venture subsidiary of Merck KGaA formed to spin out companies focused on continuing activities and compounds that originated at Merck Serono following the shutdown of its Geneva-based operations—a category that includes foliglurax. M Ventures joined Forbion, Seroba Life Sciences, Sunstone Capital, and Ysios Capital as major investors in Prexton, with Forbion and Seroba last year leading a €29 million ($35.6 million) Series B financing round.

Lundbeck would inherit global rights to foliglurax (PTX002331), now in an ongoing mid-stage study for the symptomatic treatment of OFF-time reduction in Parkinson’s disease and dyskinesia, including levodopa-induced dyskinesia. The study (NCT03162874) compares two dosages of foliglurax (10 mg and 30 mg) to placebo. The primary endpoint is change from baseline to end of the treatment period in the daily awake OFF time based on subject Hauser diary entries.

The study is being conducted in six European nations—Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. Recruitment has begun toward the study’s estimated enrollment of 165 participants, according to the latest update Monday on ClinicalTrials.gov. The First data from the Phase II program is expected to be released in mid 2019, Lundbeck and Prexton said today.

A second Phase II study assessing foliglurax has not yet begun recruitment of participants. In that study (NCT03331848), a 20-mg dose of foliglurax will be compared to placebo in an estimated 86 participants with Parkinson’s who were treated with a stable dose of levodopa and are experiencing motor complications of levodopa therapy. That study’s primary endpoint will be change from baseline in Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale (UDysRS) total score in subjects with Parkinson’s experiencing levodopa-induced dyskinesia.

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