AbbVie buys Syndesi Therapeutics for up to $1bnJenny Darmodyon March 1, 2022 at 15:51 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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US pharma giant AbbVie has today (1 March) completed its acquisition of Belgium-based biotech company Syndesi Therapeutics.

AbbVie will pay Syndesi shareholders an upfront payment of $130m as part of the acquisition but could make an additional payment of up to $870m, if certain predetermined milestones are hit.

AbbVie is known for producing a wide range of products including Humira, which is used to treat ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

The acquisition aims to expand the pharma player’s neuroscience portfolio, giving it access to Syndesi’s drug candidates. This would include SDI-118, which has potential to be used as a treatment for cognitive impairment and other symptoms associated with disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

SDI-118 is a small molecule currently being evaluated to target nerve terminals to enhance synaptic efficiency. Synaptic dysfunction is believed to underlie the cognitive impairment seen in multiple neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

AbbVie’s senior vice-president of R&D and chief scientific officer, Tom Hudson, said there is a “major unmet need” for new therapies that can improve cognitive function for patients with neurologic diseases.

“With AbbVie’s acquisition of Syndesi, we aim to advance the research of a novel, first-in-class asset for the potential treatment of cognitive impairment associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders,” he said.

Syndesi’s CEO Jonathan Savidge said AbbVie’s neuroscience team shares the Syndesi team’s view on the potential of SDI-118.

“I am delighted with the closing of this deal. It has been a pleasure to partner with our investors to investigate the potential of SDI-118 in early clinical studies. Now, as part of AbbVie, the programme is well positioned to move into later stages of clinical development.”

The acquisition follows AbbVie’s merger with Irish-headquartered Allergan, which was believed to be one of the world’s largest mergers in recent years, valued at approximately $63bn.

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