Lundbeck takes risk on Parkinson’s treatment, €905m on table

pharmafile | March 19, 2018 | News story | Sales and Marketing Lundbeck, Parkinson's, biotech, drugs, pharma, pharmaceutical 

CNS’ treatments are notoriously risky, especially those that are still at an early stage; however, Lundbeck has decided to take a calculated risk on Prexton Therapeutics and its sole candidate for Parkinson’s.

Lundbeck will buy out the company for €100 million up-front, with a further €805 million locked into development, regulatory and sales milestones.

The compound, foliglurax, is currently undergoing Phase 2 testing, after developing promising data in pre-clinical, animal models and a good safety profile in a Phase 1 trial. The data was enough to secure €29 million in a Series B financing round just over a year ago.

Foliglurax is being lined up as an adjunctive therapy for patients already taking levodopa, as the latter drug becomes less effective and side-effects being to take their toll on patients, such as compromised motor function. The aim for the treatment is that it is able to manage resting tremors, muscle rigidity and uncontrolled movements.

Rather than wait for the results from its Phase 2 trial, Prexton decided to take the cash whilst it was on the table – given how unpredictable CNS treatment results can be, this seems a sensible option.

As for Lundbeck, it managed to scoop the treatment before results emerge – it is playing with the exact same risk, but the upside could be a successful Phase 2, that’s already underway, and having got in early on the candidate before big players started to circle.

“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 payers.”

Ben Hargreaves

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