Lundbeck forges new future in a flurry of deals

Denmark's Lundbeck has had a busy day. On the biotech front, the pharma company announced that it is buying NeuronIcon-a small developer focused on new treatments for brain damage--for an undisclosed sum. It struck a research deal with scientists specializing in neurology at the University of Arhus, where NeuronIcon was conceived. The company also forged a deal to buy the UK's LifeHealth for $147 million in cash, expanding its interest in Xenazine, a new treatment for Huntington's disease.

The flurry of deals today highlight Lundbeck's strategic shift toward neurological conditions as the patent expiration date for the depression drug Lexapro looms in 2012. Their new technology centers on brain disorders that trigger the elimination of nerve cells. And while Lundbeck did not disclose how much it is paying for NeuronIcon, the company made it clear that they want to stay close to the intellectual founders of the technology.

"The scientists (at the University of Arhus) have made the world's first discoveries of how the body's own protein sortilin kills nerve cells if activated in special situations that arise in connection with disorders such as stroke, spinal cord injuries and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases," Lundbeck said.

Sales of Xenaxine are expected to peak at $250 million in 2012 to 2015, Lundbeck officials told reporters today. The drug was launched in the U.S. late last year.

- read the Reuters story on NeuronIcon
- here's the release on the LifeHealth deal
- read the Dow Jones report on Xenazine
- check out the Reuters report on Xenazine sales