Allergan, a global pharmaceutical company based in Dublin, has agreed to acquire Naurex, an Evanston, Ill.-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for central nervous system disorders, in an all-cash transaction. Allergan will acquire Naurex for a $560 million, up-front payment, $460 million of which is payable upon the closing of the acquisition, as well as potential R&D success-based and sales-threshold milestone payments.
The acquisition will strengthen Allergan’s long-term growth profile with the addition of Naurex’s lead development product rapastinel (GLYX-13), a once-weekly intravenous phase III-ready molecule that has demonstrated rapid, robust and sustained efficacy in multiple phase II clinical studies in depression. The acquisition also will add Naurex’s development product NRX-1074, a next-generation drug candidate, the intravenous form of which has shown rapid and robust antidepressant efficacy in an initial single-dose phase II study. NRX-1074 also is an orally bioavailable drug candidate in phase I studies. Rapastinel and NRX-1074 are both targeted modulators of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. Both therapies have been found to be well-tolerated in all studies to date, with no drug-related serious adverse events or any of the dissociative side effects typically seen with NMDA antagonists.
“We expect Naurex will enhance Allergan’s mental health portfolio and build on our strategy to lead in this important therapeutic area,” said Brent Saunders, CEO and president of Allergan. “Naurex’s unique pipeline comprises compounds that utilize a new mechanism to target areas of significant unmet medical need in major depressive disorder (MDD), including severe and/or treatment-resistant depression. These highly differentiated compounds will immediately bolster our mental health pipeline.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. Pending approvals, Allergan anticipates closing the transaction by the end of 2015.