Allergan is shelling out $560 million in cash for US biopharma Naurex and its two flagship experimental antidepressants as it spending spree continues.
Under the terms of the deal, Allergan will pay $460 million upon the closing of the acquisition and $100 million by January next year (or upon the closing if the closing has not occurred by then), as well as potential R&D success-based and sales-threshold milestone payments.
The move gives the Dublin, Ireland-based drugmaker access to experimental NMDA receptor modulators rapastinel (GLYX-13) and NRX-1074, both intravenous drugs that have shown efficacy and tolerability in Phase II studies.
“Rapastinel and NRX-1074 offer the potential for faster onset of action, equal or greater efficacy and a more favorable safety and tolerability profile than traditional antidepressants,” said David Nicholson, president of Global Brands R&D for Allergan. “If approved, they will provide a significant and complementary addition to our world-class CNS and mental health portfolio,” he said, further explaining Allergan’s interest.
The deal will also see Naurex’ platform for discovering drugs that enhance synaptic plasticity, or strengthen the network for neural cell communication, spin out into a separate entity just before the transaction closes, anticipated by year end.
Allergan and this new company will form a research alliance to discover and develop innovative small molecule NMDA receptor modulators for the treatment of certain psychiatric and neurologic disorders, with the former bagging first right to in-license a defined number of candidates for certain indications.
News of the deal comes as Allergan is alleged to be close to a pact with Teva which would see it jettison its generics business to the Israeli drugmaker for a whopping $45 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.