NeuroDerm, which announced its pending sale to
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation on Monday for $1.1b., began as an idea for
a better way to deliver a Parkinson’s drug among three friends: BGU Prof. Eli Heldman, Dr. Moshe
Kushnir and Dr. Haim Shlesinger.
The three thought of a way to
deliver the drug levodopa, which increases dopamine levels in the brain and
reduces Parkinson’s symptoms, sub-cutaneously with a miniaturized pump. Levodopa
only reduces symptoms if a constant amount is continually pumped into the body.
The longstanding gold standard treatment requires surgery to insert a catheter
into the patient’s stomach to which a pouch and pump are attached. For those
uninterested in surgery, levodopa is available in pill form, but then the dosage
is not continuous. NeuroDerm’s device would make the gold standard treatment
accessible and less disruptive for the majority of Parkinson’s
“We believe that this
transaction will yield important benefits for NeuroDerm’s shareholders and the
Parkinson’s disease patients that urgently need new therapies,” said Oded S.
Lieberman, PhD, CEO of NeuroDerm. “MTPC has demonstrated development and
commercialization expertise in the field of neurology and we are confident that
the combination of their resources and the robust data supporting ND0612, our
Phase III Parkinson’s disease product candidate, will help make this important
new therapy available as broadly and rapidly as possible. The transaction also
provides our shareholders with a significant return on their investment in
NeuroDerm, reflecting the value that we have created with our pipeline and
NeuroDerm is in Phase III
clinical trials in the United States with results expected later this year.
Clinical trials to be held in Europe are expected to yield results in
Heldman was the company’s
chief scientist for the first few years after its founding but has not played an
active role in the company in the last several years.
NeuroDerm Ltd. (Nasdaq: NDRM),
a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing drug-device combinations for
central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced Monday that it had signed a
definitive agreement under which Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (TSE Code:
4508) (“MTPC”), a publicly traded company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, will
acquire NeuroDerm for US$39 per share in cash.
The transaction received
unanimous approval by NeuroDerm’s Board of Directors and implies an equity value
of approximately US$1.1 billion. The offer of US$39 per share in cash represents
a premium of 79 percent over the unaffected price on June 9, 2017 of NeuroDerm’s
ordinary shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market and a 17 percent premium over the
closing stock price on July 21, 2017. A special meeting of shareholders to
approve the transaction is expected to be held this fall. Assuming typical
regulatory and shareholder approval timeframes, NeuroDerm currently anticipates
the transaction will close in the fourth quarter of 2017.