Lundbeck acquires US-based Abide Therapeutics

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Lundbeck has continued the focus on its new 'expand and invest to grow' global strategy by announcing the acquisition of US-based Abide Therapeutics.

The company is using the recently announced strategy to build its pipeline by investing an increased level of capital in external innovation.

"This is still a strategy to build on our heritage but it is also about the company leveraging the best financial results in our history and making use of our credentials in brain health," managing director of Lundbeck Australia, Michal Sørensen, recently told PharmaDispatch.

Lundbeck will pay US$250 million upfront for Abide with potential future development and sales milestones of up to US$150 million.

The acquisition will see Lundbeck gain an innovative platform to discover potent and selective serine hydrolase inhibitors. Abide’s laboratory in California will also become a US drug discovery hub for Lundbeck.

"Serine hydrolases are one of the largest and most diverse classes of enzymes found in nature, which include lipases, esterases, thioesterases, amidases, peptidases and proteases," said the company in a statement.

It continued, "The lead molecule ABX-1431 is a potent selective inhibitor of the serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL) that potentiates endocannabinoid signaling to restore homeostatic balance in the central nervous system. It has the potential to address multiple indications in psychiatry and neurology and is initially being explored in clinical trials as a first-of-its-kind compound for the treatment of Tourette syndrome (exploratory phase IIa) and for neuropathic pain (phase I)."

Abide also has a pipeline of inhibitors targeting other serine hydrolases. Lundbeck said they may be pursued as future novel treatments to improve the quality of life for patients living with neurological and/or psychiatric disorders.

“The acquisition of Abide provides us with a differentiated chemo-proteomic platform to discover new classes of drugs for a broad spectrum of brain diseases starting with those that harness the therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system," said Dr Deborah Dunsire, President and CEO of Lundbeck.

"Abide’s innovative R&D platform provides us with a unique opportunity to strengthen our pipeline now and well into the future, putting Lundbeck in position to deliver multiple new and transformative treatments for brain diseases.”

“Developing first-in-class CNS mechanisms requires in depth expertise across the spectrum of drug discovery and development. Lundbeck’s commitment to brain health convinced us that together this was the best way to attain Abide’s goal to develop novel therapeutics that make a fundamental difference in the lives of patients with a range of neurological and mood disorders,” said Alan Ezekowitz, CEO of Abide.