Sunovion snaps up Cynapsus in $624M deal
- Massachusetts-based Sunovion Pharmaceuticals will buy Cynapsus, a Canadian pharmaceutical company with a drug for Parkinson's disease-related symptoms in Phase 3 testing, for approximately $624 million, in a deal announced late Wednesday.
- The agreement values Cynapsus at $40.50 per share, a 123% premium over a weighted average of the stock's closing price over the last 20 days, but more than double Wednesday's close.
- Cynapsus recently got the go-ahead from Canadian regulators to begin dosing in two Phase 3 trials testing its lead (and only) candidate, a drug designed to treat the "off" periods experienced by Parkinson's patients.
Sunovion, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., touted the acquisition as an expansion of the company's portfolio of drugs treating central nervous system disorders
Known as APL-130277, Cynapsus' candidate is designed to help Parkinson's patients manage so-called "off" periods, which are characterized by loss of motor functions and are a common complication with standard treatments of the underlying disease.
Following approval from regulators earlier this month, Cynapsus began the dose titration phase of one of its two Phase 3 trials testing the drug. Cynapsus has previously said it expects to submit a new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2017, provided results show the drug helped move patients from an "off" state to an "on" state.
APL-130277 is also being tested in an open-label Phase 3 study evaluating safety and tolerability of the drug in as many as 200 patients over six months. Patients successfully completing dosing in the first study can transition to the second.
Sunovion already markets other CNS treatments including Aptiom, a treatment for partial-onset seizures, and Latuda, a drug for bipolar depression.
The companies expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter of 2016. The board of directors for both Sunovion and Cynapsus have already signed off on the agreement, although shareholders will need to approve the deal in a vote scheduled for October 13.
"The transaction with Sunovion represents a significant premium to the current share price and we are recommending that our shareholders and warrant-holders vote in favor of the transaction," said Rochelle Stenzler, chair of the board of Cynapsus.
Two-thirds of Cynapsus' shareholders and warrant-holders need to agree to the deal in order for the transaction to close. Directors and officers of the company along with the largest shareholder already support the agreement, representing 18.33% of eligible votes.
Sunovion will fund the transaction with cash on hand.
Follow Ned Pagliarulo on Twitter