Upsher-Smith Laboratories agreed to acquire Proximagen, a company focused on therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) diseases. Upsher-Smith intends to integrate operations in Cambridge and London, U.K. In addition to the unanimous recommendation from the Board of Proximagen, Upsher-Smith has obtained irrevocable undertakings from Proximagen shareholders to accept the deal in respect of 72.01% of the share capital, including from Proximagen’s largest shareholder, Invesco Asset Management.
“We have been very impressed with the quality and breadth of Proximagen’s portfolio of programs and the commitment and expertise of Proximagen’s employees,” states Mark Evenstad, president and CEO of Upsher-Smith. “Having worked closely with Proximagen as both a commercial partner and a strategic shareholder since 2008, we believe that Proximagen has significant potential and we are excited about the opportunity of bringing new therapies to market that will benefit patients.”
The acquisition provides Upsher-Smith with expanded R&D capabilities. Proximagen’s pipeline contains a number of programs in various stages of development across a breadth of therapeutic classes including CNS, inflammation, oncology, and ophthalmology. Its most advanced candidate is Phase II-stage PRX00933 for obesity and type 2 diabetes. In Phase I/II are naluzotan and tonabersat for treatment of refractory epilepsy patients and sabcomeline for cognition in schizophrenia.
Upsher-Smith’s central nervous system pipeline in clinical development includes USL255, an investigational extended-release topiramate for the management of epilepsy in adults, which is being studied in an ongoing international Phase III trial. Upsher-Smith is also developing USL261, an investigational intranasal midazolam for the rescue treatment of seizures in patients on stable anti-epileptic drug regimens who require control of intermittent bouts of increased seizure activity, frequently referred to as seizure clusters. USL261 has been granted orphan drug designation for this use by the FDA and is currently in Phase III development.