Japanese Otsuka Pharmaceutical to acquire US Neurovance

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (OPC) has announced an agreement with Neurovance Inc under which OPC has agreed to acquire Neurovance, a privately held, venture-funded, clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related disorders.
Under the terms of the agreement, Otsuka America Inc (OAI), a subsidiary of OPC, is to provide an estimated USD$100 million in upfront payments at closing, up to $150 million in additional payments contingent on achievement of development and approval milestones, and future additional payments contingent on achievement of sales milestones. The contract was signed on March 2, and the transaction closing is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.
Neurovance is developing centanafadine (CTN, formerly EB-1020) for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adult and pediatric patients. The company is based in Cambridge, Mass, and was established as a spin-off from Euthymics Bioscience Inc in 2011.
Centanafadine is a non-stimulant, triple reuptake inhibitor that modulates norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin reuptake with the intent of improving focus, attention, and specific higher level cognitive skills in patients with ADHD. Two phase II clinical trials in adults, including a phase IIb trial, have been completed for centanafadine, setting the stage for the start of phase III trials in ADHD.
Tatsuo Higuchi, president and executive director, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. commented, “Otsuka has been investing prudently in acquiring assets and collaborating on the development of new technologies that address specific patient needs in the central nervous system, cardio-renal and oncology therapeutic areas. Neurovance’s resources will be a welcomed, integral part of our activities in CNS.”
The acquisition of Neurovance is an extension to ADHD of Otsuka’s strategy in the CNS therapy area to develop new products that can also address issues of importance to patients such as compliance with medicine taking or the challenging side effects from existing medications. Centanafadine is a non-stimulant drug candidate which in its development to date has shown that it may achieve comparable efficacy to stimulant drugs with a potentially lower risk of abuse.
Following the consummation of the transaction, Neurovance will be an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd.