Otsuka acquires ADHD drug in $100M deal for Neurovance
- Japanese pharma Otsuka Pharmaceutical has snapped up the privately held Neurovance, Inc. for $100 million upfront, gaining access to a Phase 3-ready candidate for treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Neurovance, a Cambridge, MA-based spin-out from Euthymics BioSciences, is also eligible for another $150 million in development and regulatory milestone payments, as well as unspecified sales milestones.
- The deal is expected to close in sometime in the second quarter of 2017, with Neurovance to become a subsidiary of Otsuka.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a well-established market. The first drug of choice is generally a stimulant, and use of methylphenidate dates back to the 1960s. However, stimulant use in children is controversial, and such drugs, whether prescribed to adults or children, can be abused.
Neurovance's candidate, centanafadine, is a non-stimulant drug that acts as triple reuptake inhibitor, modulating levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Neurovance has ushered the drug through two Phase 2 trials in adults, and Otsuka indicated a Phase 3 trial is on the horizon.
"The sale of Neurovance to Otsuka Pharmaceutical provides a strong path forward for centanafadine based on [Otsuka's] deep [central nervous system] expertise, while delivering substantial value to our investors," said Neurovance CEO Jeff Bailey.
Otsuka has emphasized CNS as a core therapeutic area, focusing on drugs that address needs related to compliance or side effects. The Japanese pharma has a full pipeline of drugs in indications ranging from schizophrenia to alcohol dependence but didn't have a ADHD treatment in development prior to the deal for Neurovance.
A number of other companies are developing ADHD therapeutics. Shire's SHP465 (long-acting amphetamine), for example, is awaiting approval of its resubmission in the U.S., with a PDUFA date of June 20, 2017. And Supernus is planning a Phase 3 trial for its non-stimulant viloxazine during 2017, based on Phase 2 data from both children and adults.
Follow Suzanne Elvidge on Twitter