Acadia, Biovail end Parkinson's drug deal

Acadia Pharmaceuticals and Biovail, a subsidiary of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, said this morning that they have ended the collaboration agreement on pimavanserin, a drug for Parkinson's. Last year the two companies inked a $395 million development and commercialization deal for the drug, which was in late-stage trials. But five month later a Phase III trial of the drug flopped due to an unexpectedly high placebo effect, triggering a meltdown in Acadia's share price.  

Acadia has regained all rights to pimavanserin and will receive a one-time cash payment of $8.75 million from Biovail to transition the program and cover clinical trials costs. Acadia plans to continue Phase III clinical trials for Parkinson's, but won't pursue the drug's development as a treatment for Alzheimer's or schizophrenia. The company says it has enough cash to last it until mid-2012.

"While we have enjoyed a great collaboration with Biovail, both parties recognize that pimavanserin and the broad development strategy at the core of our collaboration were not consistent with the strategic focus of the new Valeant following the recently completed merger," said Acadia CEO Uli Hacksell. "With worldwide rights to pimavanserin and a focus on our ongoing Phase III program, we believe ACADIA is positioned on an attractive path forward for this product candidate."

- check out Acadia's release on the decision