Tuesday, April 16, 2024

AbbVie’s $8.7 Billion Deal with Cerevel Bolsters Its Neuroscience Portfolio

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AbbVie has recently entered a definitive agreement to purchase Cerevel Therapeutics and its expansive neuroscience pipeline for approximately $8.7 billion. The acquisition encompasses various clinical-stage and preclinical assets aimed at treating conditions such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and mood disorders.

This strategic move by AbbVie is seen as a complementary addition to its existing neuroscience portfolio, broadening its spectrum of potential treatments for psychiatric and neurological disorders that have significant unmet medical needs. Richard A. Gonzalez, AbbVie’s chairman and chief executive officer, highlighted the substantial growth opportunity anticipated from this collaboration. He emphasized the promising future created by merging AbbVie’s existing neuroscience portfolio with Cerevel’s pipeline, projecting significant advancements well into the coming decade.

A Strategic Boost to Its Promising Neuroscience Pipeline

One of the key assets AbbVie gains from this deal is emraclidine, an antipsychotic currently undergoing Phase II trials for schizophrenia. Emraclidine’s potential extends to treating dementia-related psychosis in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Acting as a positive allosteric modulator of the muscarinic M4 receptor, this drug demonstrated promising efficacy and safety in Phase Ib trials for schizophrenia. Further studies in elderly healthy volunteers are ongoing, supporting its potential application in Alzheimer’s disease psychosis.

The Cerevel pipeline also includes other promising assets:

  • Tavapadon: A Phase III trial candidate, it operates as a dopamine D1/D5 selective partial agonist designed for managing Parkinson’s disease.
  • CVL-354: This Phase I trial asset acts as a kappa opioid receptor (KOR) antagonist and is aimed at treating major depressive disorder (MDD).
  • Darigabat: Targeting treatment-resistant epilepsy and panic disorder, this Phase II clinical trial candidate functions as an alpha 2/3/5 selective GABAA receptor PAM.


Strengthening Commitment to Innovative Neuroscientific Solutions

This acquisition marks AbbVie’s third major announcement this quarter. The transaction is anticipated to be finalized by mid-2024, pending approval from Cerevel’s shareholders, regulatory clearances, and standard closing conditions.

Notably, AbbVie’s recent acquisitions include Mitokinin, a neuroscience company specializing in a selective PINK1 activator addressing mitochondrial dysfunction associated with Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, the company agreed upon a $10.1 billion deal to acquire ImmunoGen and its antibody-drug conjugate ELAHERE ®, catering to platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (PROC).

AbbVie’s strategic acquisitions underscore its commitment to advancing innovative treatments across various therapeutic areas, particularly within neuroscience, aiming to address critical unmet medical needs.

Resource: European Pharmaceutical Review, December 08, 2023

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