Euro-US hybrid Synosia lands $745M Parkinson's pact with UCB

Looking to beef up its pipeline for neurology drugs, Belgium's UCB has snagged the licensing rights to two experimental therapies from Synosia Therapeutics in a pact worth up to $745 million covering milestones, an upfront and an equity stake.

Synosia has an unusual international pedigree. As CEO Ian Massey explained to FierceBiotech in 2008, the company is headquartered in Switzerland to maintain close ties with Roche, but the CEO and others were stationed in Palo Alto, CA, where Massey helped orchestrate a string of in-licensing deals with Roche, Novartis and Syngenta. UCB's warm embrace of Synosia is focused on two compounds, SYN-115 and SYN-118, both in mid-stage development for treating walking disorders related to Parkinson's disease.

As part of the deal package announced today, UCB made a $20 million investment in the company, which was matched with a $10 million contribution from a list of venture backers who chipped into Synosia's Series C: Versant Ventures, 5Am Ventures, Novo A/S, Aravis Venture, Investor Growth Capital and Swiss Helvetia Fund. UCB gets two seats on the Synosia board.

"We are impressed with Synosia's development capabilities and the possibility of expanding our alliance in the future," says Dr. Ismail Kola, executive vice president of drug discovery and president of UCB NewMedicines. "With access to these two potentially important new treatments for people living with movement disorders, UCB reinforces its intention to become the patient-centric biopharmaceutical leader in neurology and immunology."

- read the release on the UCB deal
- and here's the Synosia release on the investment round