Lundbeck Pharmaceutical Company, headquartered in Denmark, recently announced the acquisition of Prexton Therapeutics B.V. for $1.1 billion (U.S.). Lundbeck is a publicly traded company focusing on psychiatric and neurological disorders. Prexton, founded in 2012 and based in the Netherlands and Switzerland, focuses on developing drugs to improve the quality of life of those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease and other disorders. Prexton is a spinout of Merck Ventures.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition affecting more than one percent of the population over 60. The disease occurs due to degeneration of dopaminergic brain cells. The main symptoms are: tremors at rest, slowness of movement, limb rigidity and gait and balance problems.
Prexton’s pipeline focuses on new chemical entities targeting mGluR4 receptors. According to the press release, the acquisition of Prexton allows Lundbeck to obtain global rights to Foliglurax, Prexton’s lead chemical compound. Foliglurax is currently undergoing phase II clinical trials of 165 patients in Europe for treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Foliglurax works by stimulating the mGluR4 glutamatergic receptor that leads to reduced tremors, muscle rigidity, and uncontrolled movements. According to the press release, Lundbeck is paying approximately $122 million in cash (U.S.) and $985 million (U.S.) in development and sales milestones for Prexton.