AbbVie has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Cerevel Therapeutics and its neuroscience pipeline of multiple clinical-stage and preclinical candidates with potential across several diseases including schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease (PD), and mood disorders.
The acquisition complements AbbVie’s neuroscience portfolio, adding a wide range of potentially best-in-class assets that may transform standards of care across psychiatric and neurological disorders where significant unmet needs remain for patients.
Under the terms of the transaction, AbbVie will acquire all outstanding shares of Cerevel for $45.00 per share in cash. The transaction values Cerevel at a total equity value of approximately $8.7 billion. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction. This transaction is expected to close in the middle of 2024, subject to Cerevel shareholder approval, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.
“Our existing neuroscience portfolio and our combined pipeline with Cerevel represents a significant growth opportunity well into the next decade,” said Richard A. Gonzalez, chairman and chief executive officer, AbbVie. “AbbVie will leverage its deep commercial capabilities, international infrastructure, and regulatory and clinical expertise to deliver substantial shareholder value with multibillion-dollar sales potential across Cerevel’s portfolio of assets.”
“Cerevel has always been committed to transforming what is possible in neuroscience. With AbbVie’s long-standing expertise in developing and commercializing medicines on a global scale, Cerevel’s novel therapies will be well positioned to reach more people living with neuroscience diseases,” said Ron Renaud, president and chief executive officer, Cerevel Therapeutics. “The talented, passionate, and dedicated Cerevel team has made great progress over the past five years in developing our innovative suite of potential medicines, and we are pleased that AbbVie has recognized the tremendous potential of our pipeline. This acquisition reinforces the renaissance we are seeing in neuroscience, and we are proud to be at the forefront.”
Cerevel’s late-stage asset emraclidine, a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of the muscarinic M4 receptor, is a potential best-in-class, next-generation antipsychotic that may be effective in treating schizophrenia patients.
Schizophrenia impacts more than five million people in the G7 (U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan) and a significant opportunity for treatment innovation remains for new and better tolerated therapies. In a Phase 1b study, emraclidine has shown promising efficacy and safety in schizophrenia and is currently completing two Phase 2 trials that were designed to be registration enabling.
In addition, emraclidine has potential in dementia-related psychosis in Alzheimer’s disease and PD. Emraclidine is currently in a Phase 1 study in elderly healthy volunteers in support of a potential Alzheimer’s disease psychosis program.
In addition to emraclidine, Cerevel has multiple assets advancing in clinical development with best-in-class potential that are complementary to AbbVie’s priority areas within neuroscience. Tavapadon, a first-in-class dopamine D1/D5 selective partial agonist for the management of PD, is currently in Phase 3 studies and has potential for both monotherapy and adjunctive treatment. Tavapadon’s efficacy and safety-tolerability profile could enable its utility in early PD, becoming a near-term complementary asset to AbbVie’s existing symptomatic therapies for advanced PD.
CVL-354, currently in Phase 1, is a potential best-in-class kappa opioid receptor (KOR) antagonist that has the potential to provide significantly improved efficacy and tolerability compared to existing treatments for major depressive disorder (MDD).
Darigabat, currently in Phase 2, is an alpha 2/3/5 selective GABAA receptor PAM for treatment-resistant epilepsy and panic disorder.