The deal sees Lundbeck set to pay $250m (€223m) upfront for Abide Therapeutics while also holding a further payment of $150m in reserve, dependent on development and commercial milestones being hit.
Abide’s work is focused on serine hydrolases, which play a role in controlling levels of bioactive signalling molecules, such as lipids, neurotransmitters, peptides, and proteins.
Lundbeck will acquire the drug candidate ABX-1431, Abide’s lead candidate, which is currently in Phase IIa trials for the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome and Phase I for neuropathic pain.
A spokesperson for Lundbeck told us that its short-term development plan is to pursue these two indications, but added, in the long-term, the candidate may have the potential for other neurologic and psychiatric diseases.
ABX-1431 inhibits serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase, which the company states “potentiates endocannabinoid signalling to restore homeostatic balance in the central nervous system.”
Alongside the lead candidate, Abide will bring with it a chemo-proteomic platform that it has used to build a pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical candidates.
Deborah Dunsire, CEO of Lundbeck, said, “Abide’s innovative R&D platform provides us with a unique opportunity to strengthen our pipeline now and well into the future, putting Lundbeck in position to deliver multiple new and transformative treatments for brain diseases.”
The acquisition also sees Lundbeck add Abide’s laboratory in La Jolla, US, to its business infrastructure, by converting the space into a ‘drug discovery hub’. However, the site was secondary to the pursuit of the deal, which was foremost due to the quality of the science and the R&D platform, the spokesperson explained.
The deal will be secured through the use of Lundbeck’s existing cash reserves and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.