EVENTS | VIEW CALENDAR
Acorda to acquire Biotie for $363M
ARDSLEY, N.Y.—Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Biotie Therapies Corp. for €23.5680 per ADS in cash, or the equivalent of $25.60 per ADS based on an exchange rate of 1.0864 U.S. dollars to euros, a deal that values Biotie at approximately $363 million. With this acquisition, Acorda gains worldwide rights to tozadenant, an oral adenosine A2a receptor antagonist currently in Phase 3 development in Parkinson’s disease (PD), as well as global rights to SYN120, an oral, 5-HT6/5-HT2A dual receptor antagonist for Parkinson’s-related dementia, which is in Phase 2 development with support from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The acquisition also includes BTT1023, a fully human monoclonal antibody in Phase 2 development for the treatment of the chronic liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis, and double-digit royalties from sales of Selincro, a European Medicines Agency-approved therapy for reduction in alcohol consumption being marketed by H. Lundbeck A/S in multiple European countries.
Biotie's board of directors unanimously recommended the transaction, which also has the unanimous approval of Acorda's board as well. The tender offer is expected to be completed in the first or second quarter of this year, with the acquisition expected to be complete in the third quarter.
“Our acquisition of Biotie positions Acorda as a leader in Parkinson’s disease therapeutic development, with three clinical-stage compounds that have the potential to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s. Tozadenant, Biotie’s most advanced clinical program, is a promising therapy being developed to reduce daily OFF time,” Dr. Ron Cohen, president and CEO of Acorda, said in a press release. “Adenosine A2a receptor antagonists may be the first new class of drug approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s in the U.S. in over 20 years. Approximately 350,000 people with Parkinson’s in the U.S. experience OFF periods, and if approved, tozadenant could provide a much-needed treatment option.”
Tozadenant is an orally administered, potent and selective antagonist of the adenosine A2A receptor. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter, one of the naturally occurring chemical messengers that transmit signals between neurons in the brain. The A2a receptor is one of the types of chemical receptors on neurons that mediate the adenosine signal. This receptor is expressed particularly in the motor control part of the brain that is affected in people with Parkinson’s. Activation of the A2a receptor has effects in the brain that antagonize the action of another neurotransmitter, dopamine, in this brain region. A loss of dopamine input is a central mechanism of PD and treatment with levodopa is designed to restore more normal dopamine levels in the brain. Blocking of A2a receptors with tozadenant serves to dampen the antagonistic effect of adenosine on dopamine and thereby promotes motor function.
A 420-patient Phase 2b trial published in Lancet Neurology compared four different doses of tozadenant to placebo, using patient diaries to record OFF time in patients on a stabilized regimen of levodopa and up to three additional medications. OFF time is characterized by a re-emergence of PD motor symptoms, such as impaired ability to move, muscle stiffness and tremor. The average daily OFF time for individuals receiving tozadenant at the 120 mg dose decreased by 1.9 hours, or 1.1 hours relative to placebo (5.9 hours per day at baseline to 4.0 hours at twelve weeks). Notably, this improvement in OFF time was not associated with significant increases in troublesome dyskinesia for doses being studied in the ongoing Phase 3 program (60mg and 120 mg). According to Cohen, the company is intending to file an NDA for tozadenant by the end of 2018.
William M. Burns, chairman of the board of Biotie, remarked that, “With the shared mission to improve the lives of patients with neurological diseases, this transaction will allow Acorda and Biotie to bring together their expertise and resources in order to fully maximize the potential of tozadenant, an A2a receptor antagonist in Phase 3 for Parkinson’s disease, and SYN120 a dual 5-HT6/5-HT2A receptor antagonist in Phase 2 for cognitive and psychotic disorders, and to bring new medicines to patients. We are excited about this offer for our shareholders, the Biotie team and for patients.”
Biotie is headquartered in Turku, Finland, with its clinical operations based in South San Francisco, Calif. Following the close of the deal, Acorda intends to maintain the latter location and retain Biotie staff at that site, and is considering the long-term future of the Turku facility.
SOURCE: Acorda press release