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Acorda to acquire Biotie Therapies for $363M

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Acorda Therapeutics has entered into an agreement to acquire Biotie Therapies for €23.5680 per ADS in cash, or the equivalent of $25.60 per ADS based on an exchange rate of 1.0864 U.S. dollars to euros, which values Biotie at approximately $363 million.

Acorda will obtain worldwide rights to tozadenant, an oral adenosine A2areceptor antagonist currently in phase III development in Parkinson’s disease (PD). In a phase IIb clinical trial, tozadenant reduced average daily OFF time as an adjunct to treatment regimens including levodopa/carbidopa.

Further expanding its Parkinson’s pipeline, Acorda will also obtain global rights to SYN120, an oral, 5-HT6/5-HT2A dual receptor antagonist for Parkinson’s-related dementia, in phase II development with support from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

“Our acquisition of Biotie positions Acorda as a leader in Parkinson’s disease therapeutic development, with three clinical-stage compounds that have the potential to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s. Tozadenant, Biotie’s most advanced clinical program, is a promising therapy being developed to reduce daily OFF time,” said Ron Cohen, M.D., Acorda’s president and CEO. “Adenosine A2a receptor antagonists may be the first new class of drug approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s in the U.S. in over 20 years. Approximately 350,000 people with Parkinson’s in the U.S. experience OFF periods, and if approved, tozadenant could provide a much needed treatment option.”

Dr. Cohen added, “Tozadenant is a compelling opportunity with potential market exclusivity to 2030. The Phase 2 data were highly statistically significant and clinically meaningful. We are targeting an NDA filing by the end of 2018.”

A 420-patient phase IIb trial published in Lancet Neurology compared four different doses of tozadenant to placebo, using patient diaries to record OFF time in patients on a stabilized regimen of levodopa and up to three additional medications. OFF time is characterized by a re-emergence of PD motor symptoms, such as impaired ability to move, muscle stiffness and tremor. The average daily OFF time for individuals receiving tozadenant at the 120mg dose decreased by 1.9 hours, or 1.1 hours relative to placebo (5.9 hours per day at baseline to 4 hours at twelve weeks). Notably, this improvement in OFF time was not associated with significant increases in troublesome dyskinesia for doses being studied in the ongoing phase III program (60mg and 120mg).

Biotie is headquartered in Turku, Finland, with clinical operations based in South San Francisco, Calif. Following the close of the acquisition, Acorda plans to maintain the South San Francisco location and retain Biotie staff at that site. Acorda is considering the long-term future of the Turku facility. With this addition, Acorda will have operations in three major U.S. biotechnology centers: New York, Boston and San Francisco.

The acquisition also includes two other assets: BTT1023, a fully human monoclonal antibody in phase II development for treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a chronic liver disease; and double-digit royalties from sales of Selincro, an EMA-approved therapy for reduction in alcohol consumption marketed by H. Lundbeck in multiple European countries.

The $363 million all-cash tender offer in Finland and the U.S. is unanimously recommended by Biotie’s board of directors. The transaction was also unanimously approved by Acorda’s board of directors. Subject to customary closing conditions, the tender offer is expected to be completed in the first or second quarter of 2016, and the acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016.

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