Lundbeck banks on migraine therapy with $2bn acquisition

By Ben Hargreaves contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Bogdan Kurylo)
(Image: Getty/Bogdan Kurylo)

Related tags: Lundbeck, Alder BioPharmaceuticals, CGRP inhibitors

Lundbeck agrees to purchase Alder to gain access to its CGRP migraine therapy that looks set to enter a crowded market.

Lundbeck is set to acquire Alder BioPharmaceuticals for a cash deal of $1.95bn (€1.77bn), with the latter company having readied its calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitor migraine treatment for US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review.

According to the companies, a decision is expected on Alder’s lead candidate, eptinezumab, by February 21, 2020.

The migraine prevention treatment would become the fourth approved treatment in the CGRP class, behind rivals in Novartis/Amgen​, Eli Lilly​, and Teva​.

However, the treatment is differentiated from its competitors by being delivered intravenously (IV), while its rivals are all delivered subcutaneously.

In addition, the treatment regimen is quarterly, which is matched by Teva’s treatment, but is a longer treatment cycle compared to the monthly doses of Novartis/Amgen and Lilly’s treatments.

When asked on an investor call how Lundbeck would be able to stand out in the crowded market, Lundbeck’s CEO, Deborah Dunsire, answered, “We look at the delivery of this IV product, which is 100% bioavailable, one of the benefits of that is you get speed. It achieves migraine prevention as early as day one following the infusion. [In clinical trials,] we get a great reduction in patients who will have a migraine the next day after dosing.”

As well as eptinezumab, Lundbeck will also pick up ALD1910, which is another monoclonal antibody (mAb) and migraine prevention treatment, except it inhibits the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide rather than CGRP.

Further than potential US approval, Lundbeck stated that it expects a decision by the European Commission in 2020, with the transaction expected to contribute to core earnings per share (EPS) in 2023 – should approvals follow as expected.

The acquisition builds on previous efforts by Lundbeck to build out its R&D capabilities​ and pipeline​, with it also stating that bringing Alder onboard would add “a team with strong mAb expertise, accelerating [its] capabilities in the area.”

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Related topics: Markets & Regulations, Pipelines

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