M&A Targets Pfizer and Others Could be Eyeballing

M&A Targets Pfizer and Others Could be Eyeballing May 23, 2016
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

SAN DIEGO – Shares of Acadia Pharmaceuticals are up this morning as the company continues to be an attractive M&A target for the likes of deal hungry Pfizer and Biogen .

California-based Acadia has been a hot topic of acquisition rumors following the approval of its drug, Nuplazid (pimavansrin), for the treatment of Parkinson’s psychosis. Nuplazid is used to treat delusions and hallucinations in patients with psychosis caused by Parkinson's disease, a progressive disease that affects the central nervous system and is known for causing tremors. Nuplazid, which targets 5-HT2A receptors, is the only drug that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this condition. Acadia estimates that approximately 40 percent of the four to six million people worldwide diagnosed with Parkinson’s suffer from Parkinson’s psychosis.

Acadia is also researching the use of Nuplazid for the treatment of schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease psychosis, which is attracting the interests of the likes of Boston-based Biogen.

Biogen already has several Alzheimer’s drugs in its pipeline, including aducanumab, which targets amyloid plaque in the brain. In addition to its Alzheimer’s treatments, Biogen also has several neurological drugs in its pipeline for Parkinson’s and schizophrenia, which aligns nicely with what Acadia is doing with Nuplazid. Although Nuplazid currently comes with a black box warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concerning increased mortality in elderly patients, the drug has the potential to generate $1 billion in revenue, according to analysts cited by bidnessetc.

Biogen is looking for a deal that could provide an immediate boost in revenue as the company faces challenges in pricing and competition for its multiple sclerosis drugs. Acadia has a market cap of about $3.5 billion, which makes it well within range of Biogen’s affordability.

Although Pfizer recently lost out on its merger with Allergan after the U.S. Treasury Department changed its rules regarding inversion practices, the company has remained deal hungry, snapping up Palo Alto, California-based Anacor Pharmaceuticals (ANAC) for $5.2 billion. But the New York-based company may be eying Acadia to bolster its own neurological pipeline. Pfizer has its own Parkinson’s disease drug in Phase II development and Nuplazid could provide a solid support for that drug, bidnessetc noted.

However, this morning the Motley Fool noted that Pfizer could be looking elsewhere for deals to shore up its pipeline, including companies such as Portola Pharmaceuticals and Celator Pharmaceuticals .

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