Lundbeck’s €905 Million Acquisition of Prexton Therapeutics

Dechert LLP advised biopharmaceutical company Prexton Therapeutics B.V. (Prexton) and its selling shareholders, including M Ventures, in the deal.

H. Lundbeck A/S and Prexton Therapeutics BV entered in a definitive agreement in which Lundbeck will acquire Prexton. Under terms of the agreement, Lundbeck will pay EUR 100 million (approximately DKK 750 million) upfront and is furthermore required to later pay up to EUR 805 million (approximately DKK 6 billion) in development and sales milestones to the group of current owners.

By acquiring Prexton, Lundbeck will obtain global rights of an attractive compound (foliglurax) which currently is in clinical phase II testing for symptomatic treatment of OFF-time reduction in Parkinson’s disease and dyskinesia including Levodopa Induced Dyskinesia (LID). First data from the ongoing clinical phase II programme is expected to be available during the first half of 2019.

Foliglurax works by stimulating a specific glutamatergic target (mGluR4) which activates a compensatory neuronal system in the brain which is largely unaffected in Parkinson’s disease. Animal models have convincingly demonstrated positive effects in models of Parkinson’s disease. The aim is to treat the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as resting tremor, muscle rigidity and uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia).

Lundbeck will pay EUR 100 million upfront to the current investors of Prexton Therapeutics BV. Furthermore, Lundbeck is required to pay up to EUR 805 million in development, regulatory and sales milestones depending on successful outcome of certain undisclosed milestones. More than half of the EUR 805 million is connected to sales milestones.

Prexton is a biopharmaceutical company founded in 2012 by Francois Conquet and M Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Merck KGaA, their entrepreneurial partnership program, which supports the creation of spin-offs from Merck. Prexton applies a new scientific approach that fully integrates molecular, behavioral and chemistry technologies to address Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. Prexton is based in Oss (The Netherlands) and in Geneva (Switzerland). Other major investors include Forbion, Seroba Life Sciences, Sunstone Capital and Ysios Capital.

The Dechert team was led by corporate partner Graham Defries (Picture) and included corporate partner Andrew Harrow, counsel Jonathan Schur and associates Kenny MacLeod, Nathan Smith and Rose Limaye.

Involved fees earner: Graham Defries – Dechert; Andrew Harrow – Dechert; Jonathan Schur – Dechert; Rose Limaye – Dechert; Kenny MacLeod – Dechert; Nathan Smith – Dechert;

Law Firms: Dechert;

Clients: Prexton Therapeutics SA;