Sector News

Allergan scoops up some CNS drugs as its $160B Pfizer merger pends

November 25, 2015
Life sciences

Allergan, seeking to burnish its reputation in R&D, bought into some early-stage treatments for autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder as it prepares to join forces with Pfizer in a massive merger.

The company is paying an undisclosed sum to startup Rugen Therapeutics to support the discovery and development of drugs for OCD and disorders on the autism spectrum. Rugen is in line for an upfront fee and milestone payments down the line, giving Allergan the exclusive option to acquire any discovered treatments after the proof-of-concept stage.

Allergan didn’t disclose the biological targets of its new projects, saying only that they are first-in-class small-molecule compounds that have shown promise in animal models of OCD and autism.

The move comes days after Allergan and Pfizer announced their plans to merge in a $160 billion deal the companies expect to close in the middle of next year. In the run-up to that widely expected announcement, Allergan went on the offensive with its approach to research, walking back some of CEO Brent Saunders’ earlier statements about the value of drug discovery and outlining a pipeline of more than 70 candidates in mid- to late-stage development.

Allergan said the discovery-stage deal with Rugen is an affirmation of what it calls an “open science” model, an R&D philosophy that prizes bringing in assets from academic and pharma partners in lieu of inventing them in-house.

“Allergan is committed to finding breakthrough therapies in areas where there are limited treatment options,” R&D Executive Vice President David Nicholson said in a statement. “… The compounds we are working to develop with Rugen are in preclinical development, but we are excited by the possibilities that these novel molecules may provide to physicians, patients and caregivers facing these disorders.”

By Damian Garde

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

February 25, 2024

Pharma CFOs need R&D vigilance in tough economic times

Life sciences

As inflation, high interest rates and a tight investment environment continue to create headaches, 72% of CFOs said economic volatility poses the same or greater risk to their business this year compared to 2023 in a recent survey from BDO — and there are more changes afoot.

February 25, 2024

Agilent CEO Mike McMullen to retire, succeeded by lab services head

Life sciences

McMullen, who’s also currently president of Agilent, is set to abdicate both roles on May 1, according to an announcement the company put out Wednesday afternoon. From there, McMullen will spend a few months serving as an advisor to Agilent and to his successor until his retirement becomes final on Oct. 31.

February 25, 2024

AstraZeneca completes Gracell Biotechnologies acquisition for $1.2bn

Life sciences

AstraZeneca has concluded its acquisition of China-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Gracell Biotechnologies for $1.2bn. The acquisition, initially agreed in December 2023, positions Gracell as a wholly owned AstraZeneca subsidiary with operations continuing in the US and China.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach