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Biogen Idec agrees to buy UK’s Convergence Pharmaceuticals

Biogen Idec has agreed to acquire UK-based Convergence Pharmaceuticals to use its expertise in chronic pain research and clinical development to expand neuropathic pain portfolio.

The acquisition is centered on development of the UK firm’s Phase II clinical candidate CNV1014802, which has showed clinical activity in proof of concept trials for trigeminal neuralgia (TGN), a chronic orphan disease.

CNV1014802 is a new small molecule state-dependent sodium channel blocker that preferentially inhibits Nav 1.7 ion channels, which is a genetically validated target for pain in humans.

In addition, CNV1014802 has showed proof of concept for treating pain associated with lumbosacral radiculopathy (sciatica) and has potential applicability in several other neuropathic pain states.

Biogen Idec Research and Development executive vice-president Douglas Williams said: "Neuropathic pain is an area of significant unmet need and represents a natural complement to our current neurology portfolio."

As part of the deal, Convergence shareholders are eligible to receive an upfront payment of $200m as well as additional payments of about $475m contingent on future milestones.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.