Swiss drugmaker Novartis has agreed to acquire US-based neuroscience company Cadent Therapeutics for a total potential consideration of $770m.
Based in Cambridge of Massachusetts, Cadent Therapeutics is involved in the development of therapies to treat cognitive, mood, and movement disorders.
Cadent will secure a $210m upfront payment, upon closing of the deal. Cadent is eligible to secure up to $560m in milestone payments.
In 2017, Cadent Therapeutics was established through the merger of Luc Therapeutics and Ataxion Therapeutics to focus on small molecules targeting neuronal ion channels.
The deal allows Novartis to access Cadent’s neuroscience portfolio, including its NMDAr programme that includes CAD-9303 and MIJ-82.
CAD-9303 is a NMDAr positive allosteric modulator, while MIJ-821 is a NMDAr negative allosteric modulator licenced by Novartis in 2015.
MIJ821, the experimental therapy for depression, is currently being assessed in a phase II trial.
Novartis will also acquire full rights to CAD-1883, a clinical stage SK channel positive allosteric modulator under development for movement disorders.
Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) said: “We are committed to changing the lives of patients suffering from serious neuropsychiatric disorders for which there are limited treatment options.
“The Cadent acquisition follows a longstanding collaboration and shared ambition to bring forward novel neuropsychiatric medicines targeted at the root cause of disease.”
Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2021.
In October, Novartis acquired gene therapy company Vedere Bio in a deal valued at around $280m.
Vedere Bio has an advanced platform for adeno-associated viruses (AAV) based delivery of gene therapies, as well as an optogenetics programme to help treat and prevent vision loss and blindness.