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Acorda to buy Biotie for $363 million

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The US biotechnology company Acorda Therapeutics announced on Tuesday an agreed $363 million cash bid for all of the shares in Finland’s Biotie Therapies.

Acorda said the acquisition would expand its pipeline in Parkinson’s disease therapies. The company will offer 0.294 euros for each Biotie share, a premium of about 95 percent compared with the closing price on Monday.

Acorda will obtain worldwide rights to tozadenant, an oral adenosine A2a receptor antagonist currently in Phase 3 development in Parkinson’s disease (PD). In a Phase 2b clinical trial, tozadenant reduced average daily OFF time as an adjunct to treatment regimens including levodopa/carbidopa.

Further expanding its Parkinson’s pipeline, Acorda will also obtain global rights to SYN120, an oral, 5-HT6/5-HT2A dual receptor antagonist for Parkinson’s-related dementia, in Phase 2 development with support from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

“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,” said Ron Cohen, M.D., Acorda’s President and CEO. “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.”

Dr. Cohen added, “Tozadenant is a compelling opportunity with potential market exclusivity to 2030. The Phase 2 data were highly statistically significant and clinically meaningful. We are targeting an NDA filing by the end of 2018.”

Biotie is headquartered in Turku, Finland, with clinical operations based in South San Francisco, CA. Following the close of the acquisition, Acorda plans to maintain the South San Francisco location and retain Biotie staff at that site. Acorda is considering the long-term future of the Turku facility. With this addition, Acorda will have operations in three major U.S. biotechnology centers: New York,Boston and San Francisco.

Mr. William M. Burns, Chairman of the Board of Biotie, commented, “We have carefully assessed the terms and conditions of the offer and believe that it is an attractive offer to shareholders that recognizes the strategic value of Biotie.”

Mr. Burns continued, “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-HT2Areceptor 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.”

The acquisition also includes two other assets: BTT1023, a fully human monoclonal antibody in Phase 2 development for treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a chronic liver disease; and double-digit royalties from sales of Selincro®, a European Medicines Agency(EMA)-approved therapy for reduction in alcohol consumption marketed by H. Lundbeck A/S in multiple European countries.

The $363 million all-cash tender offer in Finland and the United Statesis unanimously recommended by Biotie’s Board of Directors. The transaction was also unanimously approved by Acorda’s Board of Directors. Subject to customary closing conditions, the tender offer is expected to be completed in the first or second quarter of 2016, and the acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016.

Source: Acorda, Reuters