Acorda Therapeutics is snapping up Finnish biotech Biotie Therapies in a deal valued at around $363 million, giving the firm a much stronger footprint in the Parkinson’s disease field.

The move gives Acorda global rights to Biotie’s tozadenant, an oral adenosine A2a receptor antagonist currently in Phase III development for Parkinson’s disease (PD). 

Phase II trials showed that the drug reduced the average daily OFF time - characterised by a re-emergence of PD motor symptoms such as impaired ability to move - when added to treatment regimens including levodopa/carbidopa.

Tozadenant represents “a compelling opportunity with potential market exclusivity to 2030,” said the US group’s chief executive Ron Cohen, noting that a US filing is being targeted by the end of 2018.

“Approximately 350,000 people with Parkinson’s in the US experience OFF periods, and if approved, tozadenant could provide a much needed treatment option,” he added.

The deal also gives Acorda access to SYN120, an oral, 5-HT6/5-HT2A dual receptor antagonist for Parkinson’s-related dementia, in Phase II development with support from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and BTT1023, a fully human monoclonal antibody in Phase II development for treatment of the chronic liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis.