Novartis to acquire neuroscience company Cadent Therapeutics in $770m worth deal

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Novartis acquisition of Cadent Therapeutics : Swiss pharma giant Novartis has agreed to acquire a US neuroscience company Cadent Therapeutics, in a deal worth up to $770 million.

The consideration includes an upfront payment of $210 million and up to $560 million in milestone payments.

Cadent Therapeutics was launched about three years ago via the merger of Luc Therapeutics and Ataxion Therapeutics, with a focus on developing small molecules targeting neuronal ion channels.

Jodie Morrison – CEO of Cadent Therapeutics, commenting on Novartis acquisition of Cadent Therapeutics, said: “Since the company’s launch, the Cadent team has been focused on building a portfolio of next-generation small molecule treatments for cognitive, mood, and movement disorders.

“The expertise of Novartis in development of CNS therapeutics – something we have witnessed first-hand in our existing collaboration — provides an ideal foundation for continued advancement of the Cadent pipeline and will ensure the broad potential of these drugs is realized for patients.”

Novartis acquisition of Cadent Therapeutics

Novartis acquisition of Cadent Therapeutics. Photo courtesy of Novartis AG.

Through the acquisition, Novartis gains full rights to the neuroscience portfolio of Cadent Therapeutics. This includes a couple of clinical programs, one of them being CAD-9303, which is an NMDAr positive allosteric modulator being developed for schizophrenia, and currently in phase 1 clinical development.

Another one is MIJ-821, which is an NMDAr negative allosteric modulator.

MIJ-821 was licensed to the Swiss pharma giant in 2015, which is being developed by the company for the treatment of resistant depression. The NMDAr negative allosteric modulator is being assessed in a phase 2 trial overseen by Novartis.

Apart from the two neuroscience assets, Novartis will obtain full rights to CAD-1883, which is a clinical stage SK channel positive allosteric modulator that is being developed for the treatment of movement disorders. Currently, CAD-1883 is in phase 2 clinical development.

Commenting on Novartis acquisition of Cadent Therapeutics, Jay Bradner – Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research President, 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.”

The closing of Novartis acquisition of Cadent Therapeutics will be subject to anitrust review pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions, and is expected to occur in Q1 2021.

Recently, Novartis signed a deal worth up to $280 million to acquire US-based optogenetics gene therapy company Vedere Bio has been acquired by Swiss pharma giant Novartis in a deal worth up to $280 million, for its preclinical intravitreally-injected AAV gene therapy programs.

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