Lundbeck has bought a stake in the UK's Proximagen Group as part of a strategic partnership agreement to develop central nervous system drugs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Proximagen will issue over 5.7 million new shares to Lundbeck at a price of £1.80 each, which represents a premium of 36% over the average daily closing price of the London-headquartered firm’s shares in the six-month period ended September 28. The equity investment of £10.3 million gives Lundbeck about a 9% stake.

As part of the agreement, a steering committee involving experts from both companies will focus on developing three of Proximagen’s programmes, in areas such as epilepsy, pain and inflammatory disorders. Lundbeck will also receive certain negotiation rights in relation to these projects.

Anders Gersel Pedersen, Lundbeck’s R&D chief, said Proximagen has "built an exciting pipeline which offers real promise in treating a number of CNS disorders". He added that the partnership will provide the Danish drugmaker "with exposure to some very exciting research programmes.”

Proximagen chief executive Kenneth Mulvany, said that "acquiring and developing high-quality assets, mitigating risk and building closer relationships with big pharma are three of our strategic priorities". As such, "the partnership with Lundbeck validates our strategy and represents a major step forward in realising the value of key compounds in our pipeline".