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United States : Acorda to Acquire Biotie Therapies.

Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire Biotie Therapies Corp. for 23.5680 per ADS in cash, or the equivalent of $25.60 per ADS based on an exchange rate of 1.0864 U.S. dollars to euros, which values Biotie at approximately $363 million.

Acorda will obtain worldwide rights to tozadenant, an oral adenosine A2a receptor antagonist currently in Phase 3 development in Parkinsons disease (PD). In a Phase 2b clinical trial, tozadenant reduced average daily OFF time as an adjunct to treatment regimens including levodopa/carbidopa.

Further expanding its Parkinsons pipeline, Acorda will also obtain global rights to SYN120, an oral, 5-HT6/5-HT2A dual receptor antagonist for Parkinsons-related dementia, in Phase 2 development with support from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Our acquisition of Biotie positions Acorda as a leader in Parkinsons disease therapeutic development, with three clinical-stage compounds that have the potential to improve the lives of people with Parkinsons. Tozadenant, Bioties most advanced clinical program, is a promising therapy being developed to reduce daily OFF time, said Ron Cohen, M.D., Acorda's President and CEO. Adenosine A2a receptor antagonists may be the first new class of drug approved for the treatment of Parkinsons in the U.S. in over 20 years. Approximately 350,000 people with Parkinsons in the U.S. experience OFF periods, and if approved, tozadenant could provide a much needed treatment option.

Dr. Cohen added, Tozadenant is a compelling opportunity with potential market exclusivity to 2030. The Phase 2 data were highly statistically significant and clinically meaningful. We are targeting an NDA filing by the end of 2018.

Tozadenant is an orally administered, potent and selective antagonist of the adenosine A2A receptor. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter, one of the naturally occurring chemical messengers that transmit signals between neurons in the brain. The A2a receptor is one of the types of chemical receptors on neurons that mediate the adenosine signal. This receptor is expressed particularly in the motor control part of the brain that is affected in people with Parkinsons. Activation of the A2a receptor has effects in the brain that antagonize the action of another neurotransmitter, dopamine, in this brain region. A loss of dopamine input is a central mechanism of PD and treatment with levodopa is designed to restore more normal dopamine levels in the brain. Blocking of A2a receptors with tozadenant serves to dampen the antagonistic effect of adenosine on dopamine and thereby promotes motor function.

A 420-patient Phase 2b trial published in Lancet Neurology compared four different doses of tozadenant to placebo, using patient diaries to record OFF time in patients on a stabilized regimen of levodopa and up to three additional medications. OFF time is characterized by a re-emergence of PD motor symptoms, such as impaired ability to move, muscle stiffness and tremor. The average daily OFF time for individuals receiving tozadenant at the 120 mg dose decreased by 1.9 hours, or 1.1 hours relative to placebo (5.9 hours per day at baseline to 4.0 hours at twelve weeks). Notably, this improvement in OFF time was not associated with significant increases in troublesome dyskinesia for doses being studied in the ongoing Phase 3 program (60mg and 120 mg).

The most common adverse events in the this trial for the 60 mg and 120 mg dose groups were: dyskinesia (14% in the 60 mg group, 16% in the 120 mg twice-daily group, 8% placebo group); nausea (6% in the 60 mg group, 9% in the 120 mg twice-daily group, 4% placebo group); and dizziness (5% in the 60 mg group, 5% in the 120 mg twice-daily group, 1% placebo group). Serious adverse events were reported in 13 patients (placebo - 3; tozadenant: 60 mg - 1, 120 mg - 3, 180 mg - 2, 240 mg - 4). There were six deaths in this study (placebo - 0; tozadenant: 60 mg -1, 120 mg - 0, 180 mg - 2, 240 mg - 3). Neither the drug safety monitoring board (DSMB) nor a second panel of experts who reviewed the data identified a relationship between treatment with tozadenant and serious adverse events or deaths.

Biotie is headquartered in Turku, Finland, with clinical operations based in South San Francisco, CA. Following the close of the acquisition, Acorda plans to maintain the South San Francisco location and retain Biotie staff at that site. Acorda is considering the long-term future of the Turku facility. With this addition, Acorda will have operations in three major U.S. biotechnology centers: New York, Boston and San Francisco.

Mr. William M. Burns, Chairman of the Board of Biotie, commented, We have carefully assessed the terms and conditions of the offer and believe that it is an attractive offer to shareholders that recognizes the strategic value of Biotie.

Mr. Burns continued, With the shared mission to improve the lives of patients with neurological diseases, this transaction will allow Acorda and Biotie to bring together their expertise and resources in order to fully maximize the potential of tozadenant, an A2a receptor antagonist in Phase 3 for Parkinsons disease, and SYN120 a dual 5-HT6/5-HT2A receptor antagonist in Phase 2 for cognitive and psychotic disorders, and to bring new medicines to patients. We are excited about this offer for our shareholders, the Biotie team and for patients.

The acquisition also includes two other assets: BTT1023, a fully human monoclonal antibody in Phase 2 development for treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a chronic liver disease; and double-digit royalties from sales of Selincro, a European Medicines Agency (EMA)-approved therapy for reduction in alcohol consumption marketed by H. Lundbeck A/S in multiple European countries.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jan 20, 2016
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