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GEN News Highlights : Jun 13, 2012

Newron to Buy NeuroNova for €15.4 in Shares for Clinical ALS and Parkinson Disease Drugs

Company’s VEGF therapy for ALS and PDGF-BB treatment for Parkinson disease are in Phase I/II trials.

Newron Pharmaceuticals is buying Stockholm-based CNS therapeutics firm NeuroNova in an all-share transaction valued at some €15.4 million (about $19.3 million). Major shareholders in NeuroNova have already agreed to the deal. If 100% of the firm’s shareholders comply then they will receive a 33% holding in Newron’s post-transaction issued and outstanding share capital.

The takeover of NeuroNova will give Newron two Phase I/II clinical-stage candidates. The amylotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) therapy sNN0029 comprises VEGF protein formulated for direct infusion into the cerebrospinal fluid by intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration. sNN0031 is a PDGF-BB formulated for direct ICV delivery as a treatment for Parkinson disease. Newron says the acquisition will also provide it with cash and commitments amounting to €16 million, which represents enough funding to carry out Phase II proof-of-concept studies with both candidates.

NeuroNova was established in the late 1990s to develop technology developed at the Karolinska Institute. The firm’s Neurogenesis Qualifier drug discovery platform is designed to discover CNS drug targets and new drug candidates, as well as identify existing drugs that may have utility in the treatment of CNS diseases.

“It is the logical next step for NeuroNova to combine our advanced pipeline and know-how, originally stemming from research at Karolinska Institute and developed by our team in the recent years, with a larger player in the CNS field, adding to Newron’s advanced Parkinson disease treatment, safinamide, clinical development experience, and the resources of a publicly listed entity,” remarks Ulf Ljungberg, NeuroNova president and CEO. “This is a strong platform on which to build the critical mass this industry is looking for.”