Lundbeck inks deal to purchase Abide Therapeutics for up to $400 million

Lundbeck has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Abide Therapeutics for $250 million upfront, with an additional sum of up to $150 million to be paid to current Abide investors based on future development and sales milestones, the drugmakers announced Monday. Under the deal, Lundbeck will gain access to Abide's lead candidate ABX 1431, a potential first-in-class inhibitor of the serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase under development for Tourette's syndrome and neuropathic pain, as well as its platform for discovering selective serine hydrolase inhibitors.

Deborah Dunsire, chief executive at Lundbeck, stated "the acquisition of Abide provides us with a differentiated chemo-proteomic platform to discover new classes of drugs for a broad spectrum of brain diseases starting with those that harness the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system." 

According to the drugmakers, ABX 1431 has the potential to address multiple indications in psychiatry and neurology. In addition, they suggested that Abide's pipeline of inhibitors targeting other serine hydrolases could be pursued as future novel treatments for neurological and/or psychiatric disorders."The chemo-proteomic platform may also be further expanded to characterise other enzyme systems within the serine hydrolase family, leading to the development of additional active agents that modify enzyme function," the companies said.

Lundbeck indicated that the transaction will be financed using existing cash reserves and have no impact on its previously issued financial guidance. The drugmakers added that after closing, which is expected in the second quarter, Abide's laboratoryin La Jolla, California, will serve as a US drug discovery hub for Lundbeck. 

In 2016, Celgene, which is in the process of being acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb, exercised an option to obtain ex-US rights to ABX-1431 for the potential treatment of neurological diseases.

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