Mitsubishi Tanabe Coughs Up $1.1 Billion Cash for This Parkinson's Biotech

Published: Jul 25, 2017

Mitsubishi Tanabe Coughs Up $1.1 Billion Cash for This Parkinson's Biotech July 24, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

REHOVOT, Israel – Shares of Israel-based NeuroDerm Limited are soaring more than 16 percent in premarket trading after the company announced it was being snapped up by Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Tanabe Corporation.

Mitsubishi Tanabe agreed to acquire the Israeli company for $39 per share, about $1.1 billion total. The per share price was about 79 percent higher than share prices on June 9, when NeuroDerm was trading for $21.75 per share. This morning, shares of NeuroDerm are trading at $38.42 per share as of 9:33 a.m.

What made NeuroDerm so attractive for Mitsubishi Tanabe is the company’s investigational Parkinson’s disease treatment, ND0612. The drug is designed to significantly reduce motor complications in Parkinson's disease patients through continuous, subcutaneous delivery of levodopa/carbidopa (LD/CD) solution through a wearable pump. ND0612 is undergoing Phase III trials in the U.S. and Europe, and is projected to launch in 2019.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that impacts movement in the body. In addition to the more common tremors associated with the disease, Parkinson’s commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement, according to the Mayo Clinic. People diagnosed with Parkinson’s often deal with times classified as “on” and “off.” In off times, which ND0612 addresses, patients experience periods of decreased mobility. The “on” time refers to when patients are responding to medication and symptoms are decreased.

“NeuroDerm is the first to develop liquid levodopa and carbidopa,” Mitsubishi Tanabe said in a statement on its website. “Given the importance of controlling blood levels of levodopa in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, ND0612 is expected to be used to treat advanced stage Parkinson’s disease, and will be used in patients for whom oral levodopa is no longer effective in the control of motor complications.”

If NeuroDerm is approved by regulatory agencies, Mitsubishi Tanabe will have a strong companion drug for its recently approved amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) drug Radicava (edaravone). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Radicava in May. The company anticipates launching the drug in the United States in August.

The acquisition of NeuroDerm is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Oded S. Lieberman, NeuroDerm’s chief executive officer, said the company believes being acquired by Mitsubishi Tanabe will yield important benefits for both company shareholders as well as Parkinson’s disease patients. With Mitsubishi Tanabe’s neurological expertise, that company can drive ND0612 through regulatory hurdles and into commercialization at a faster rate, Lieberman added.

In addition to ND0612, NeuroDerm is also developing other programs for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The primary product candidates are a line of levodopa and carbidopa (LD/CD) products, ND0612L and ND0612H, for moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease. Those drugs will be administered through small belt pumps that deliver a continuous, controlled dose of LD/CD. In addition, NeuroDerm is developing ND0701, a novel subcutaneously delivered apomorphine formulation for patients who suffer from moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease and who do not respond well to LD/CD.

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