Lundbeck signs $1.1bn deal for Prexton and Parkinson’s drug 27th March 2018
Lundbeck has given its R&D pipeline a boost with $1.1bn deal to acquire Prexton Therapeutics and its mid-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD) candidate foliglurax. The agreement gives Lundbeck what it says is a first-in-class, oral glutamate mGluR4 positive allosteric modulator in a phase II trial for PD. The drug is Prexton’s only clinical asset.
Foliglurax (also known as PTX002331) is being tested as a treatment for levodopa induced dyskinesia (LID) or movement disorders in PD patients, as well as ‘off’ episodes – the muscle stiffness, slow movements, and difficulty starting movements known as ‘freezing’ that can occur between doses of Parkinson’s drugs. Lundbeck says data from the phase II trial is due early next year, while a second trial is also in the planning stages according to clinicaltrials.gov.
“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,” said interim CEO Anders Götzsche, who took over the helm of the company after former CEO Kåre Schultz left to join Teva last September.
The Danish drugmaker is already a big player in neurology and psychological diseases, and PD is a core focus for the company which has suffered some pipeline setbacks of late, including the failure of Alzheimer’s candidate idalopiridine. It sells Azilect (rasagiline) – which has been available since 2005 and latterly has started to be affected by generic competition – as well as older, niche drug Parkinsan (budipine).