Biogen to acquire British biopharmaceutical firm Convergence

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US-based Biogen Idec is set to acquire British clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, Convergence Pharmaceuticals.

As part of the deal, Convergence shareholders will receive an upfront payment of $200m from Biogen. The shareholders are also eligible to receive additional payments of up to $475m contingent on future milestones.

With funding from Apposite Capital, New Leaf Venture Partners and SV Life Sciences, Convergence was founded in October 2010, following the acquisition of certain neuroscience clinical assets from GlaxoSmithKline.

Biogen Idec research and development executive vice-president Douglas Williams said: "Neuropathic pain is an area of significant unmet need and represents a natural complement to our current neurology portfolio.

"We believe their industry-leading talent, capabilities and pipeline of candidates, starting with CNV1014802, will provide a strong foundation upon which to expand our neuropathic pain portfolio."

"The acquisition was based on the development of Convergence's Phase II clinical candidate CNV1014802, which is a small molecule state-dependent sodium channel blocker that inhibits Nav 1.7 ion channels."

The acquisition was based on the development of Convergence's Phase II clinical candidate CNV1014802, which is a small molecule state-dependent sodium channel blocker that inhibits Nav 1.7 ion channels.

Nav 1.7 ion channel is a therapeutic target implicated by genetics in human pain conditions.

CNV1014802 showed clinical activity in proof of concept studies for trigeminal neuralgia (TGN), a chronic orphan disease consisting of debilitating and episodic facial pain.

In addition, the clinical candidate demonstrated proof of concept for treating pain associated with lumbosacral radiculopathy, commonly known as sciatica, with potential applicability in different other neuropathic pain states.

Convergence Pharmaceuticals outgoing CEO Clive Dix said: "The success of Convergence Pharmaceuticals is due to a combination of world-class science and a dedicated management and scientific team in the UK.

Under the leadership of its chief scientific officer Simon Tate, Convergence will continue to operate in Cambridge, UK.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.

 

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