Danish pharma company H. Lundbeck has agreed to acquire Abide Therapeutics, a US-based clinical-stage biopharma company, in a deal worth up to $400m.
Headquartered in California, Abide has developed a platform to discover potent and selective serine hydrolase inhibitors. The platform is used by the company to identify, develop, and validate small-molecule inhibitors that target serine hydrolases, which are said to be an under-explored class of enzymes.
Lundbeck president and CEO Deborah Dunsire said: “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.
“Abide’s innovative R&D platform provides us with a unique opportunity to strengthen our pipeline now and well into the future, putting Lundbeck in position to deliver multiple new and transformative treatments for brain diseases.”
Abide’s lead program, ABX-1431, which has a mechanism to inhibit the serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL), is being developed with an aim to address neurological diseases with limited treatment options.
ABX-1431, which is claimed to have the potential to address various indications across psychiatry and neurology, is being explored in clinical trials for the treatment of Tourette syndrome in an exploratory phase 2a study and for neuropathic pain, currently in phase 1 stage.
Abide also has a pipeline of inhibitors targeting other serine hydrolases that may be explored as future novel treatments for patients with neurological and/or psychiatric disorders.
Through the acquisition, Lundbeck will also own the US biopharma company’s laboratory in La Jolla, California which it expects to become its US drug discovery hub.
As per the terms of the deal, the Danish pharma company will also pay up to $150m for future development and sales milestones to Abide’s current owners.
Abide CEO Alan Ezekowitz said: “Lundbeck’s commitment to brain health convinced us that together this was the best way to attain Abide’s goal to develop novel therapeutics that make a fundamental difference in the lives of patients with a range of neurological and mood disorders.
“This together with the support for the La Jolla discovery site means that we can continue to leverage the insights of Ben Cravatt’s laboratory at Scripps Research and maintain our outstanding discovery team.”
The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2019.