Biogen Idec To Acquire Convergence Pharmaceuticals

Biogen Idec has agreed to acquire U.K.-based Convergence Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of ion channel-modulating product candidates for neuropathic pain. Under the terms of the deal, Biogen Idec will pay Convergence shareholders an upfront payment of $200 million. Convergence shareholders are eligible to receive additional payments up to $475 million contingent on future milestones. Convergence will continue to operate out of Cambridge, U.K., under the leadership of its Chief Scientific Officer, Simon Tate.

The acquisition is centered on the development of Convergence's Phase II clinical candidate (CNV1014802), which has demonstrated clinical activity in proof of concept studies for trigeminal neuralgia (TGN), a chronic orphan disease consisting of debilitating, episodic facial pain. CNV1014802 is a small molecule state-dependent sodium channel blocker that preferentially inhibits Nav 1.7 ion channels. The Nav 1.7 ion channel is a genetically validated target for pain in humans. Additionally, CNV1014802 has demonstrated proof of concept for treating pain associated with lumbosacral radiculopathy, more commonly known as sciatica, and has potential applicability in several other neuropathic pain states.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in the United States, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

Convergence Pharmaceuticals is an independent biotechnology company focused on the development of novel analgesics. The company was formed in October 2010 following the acquisition of certain neuroscience clinical assets from GlaxoSmithKline, with funding from Apposite Capital LLP, New Leaf Venture Partners, and SV Life Sciences. The company has a pipeline of differentiated clinical-stage compounds targeting the points of convergence in chronic pain signaling through modulation of specific ion channels.

Source: Biogen Idec

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