Biogen Idec Snatches Up UK Pain Drug Developer for $675 Million

Published: Jan 12, 2015

Biogen Idec Snatches Up UK Pain Drug Developer for $675 Million
January 12, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Cambridge-based biotechnology company Biogen Idec announced today that it has acquired Convergence Pharmaceuticals, a British clinical stage business that has a portfolio of drug candidates for neuropathic pain, for $200 million upfront. Biogen intends to use this acquisition to accelerate the growth of its own pain relieving drugs.

“Neuropathic pain is an area of significant unmet need and represents a natural complement to our current neurology portfolio,” said Douglas Williams, executive vice president of research and development at Biogen Idec. “The team at Convergence has pioneered some of the most innovative science in pain management. We believe their industry-leading talent, capabilities and pipeline of candidates, starting with CNV1014802, will provide a strong foundation upon which to expand our neuropathic pain portfolio.”

The terms of the agreement will require Biogen Idec to pay Convergence shareholders $200 million upfront. They are eligible to receive an additional $475 million depending on future milestones. The deal is officially expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

“The success of Convergence Pharmaceuticals is due to a combination of world-class science and a dedicated management and scientific team in the U.K.,” said Clive Dix, outgoing chief executive officer of Convergence Pharmaceuticals. “We are delighted to have progressed our pipeline to this exciting stage and are extremely pleased that Biogen Idec will now continue the development plan focused on helping patients who are in desperate need of safe and effective chronic pain treatments.”

The Development of CNV1014802
CNV1014802 is a state-dependent small molecule sodium channel blocker. It inhibits the Nav 1.7 ion channel, a therapeutic target that has been implicated in human pain conditions. The product is currently in development as a treatment for patients with trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic condition that results in episodic facial pain.

In June 2014, Convergence Pharmaceuticals released the results of its Phase II clinical trial of CNV1014802. Researchers found that the drug could consistently reduce pain severity and was well tolerated in patients.

"Having worked in the field of TGN for over 20 years and managed hundreds of patients with this severe facial pain it is wonderful news to find that there is potentially a new drug to add to our armory which not only is effective but is also so well tolerated,” said Chief Investigator Joanna Zakrzewska.

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