Proximagen polishes its CNS rep with $16M Lundbeck deal

CNS may be one of the toughest research areas in biopharma, but it can still pay to be persistent. To wit: The U.K.'s Proximagen has struck up a formal partnership with Denmark's Lundbeck on three of its CNS programs, helping it burnish its steadily growing reputation in the field.

The biotech is getting a $16 million equity investment from Lundbeck, and the two companies will follow up by creating a joint committee that will investigate Proximagen's work in search of new drugs for epilepsy, pain and inflammatory disorders. In exchange for its cash, Lundbeck will be able to leverage its closer look at the technology with "certain negotiating rights" for any of the experimental drug projects they get excited by.

"Proximagen has built an exciting pipeline which offers real promise in treating a number of CNS disorders," says Lundbeck R&D chief Anders Gersel Pedersen. "This strategic partnership will provide Lundbeck with exposure to some very exciting research programs." In the deal, Lundbeck is buying shares in Proximagen at a 36% premium.

Proximagen rounded up about $80 million back in 2008 to fund new acquisitions and in-licensing deals. It bought out Cambridge Biotechnology and its neuropathic pain and inflammatory technology from Sweden's Biovitrum a year later. And Proximagen cherry picked two early-stage CNS programs from GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) late last year as the Big Pharma company bowed out of the field.

- here's the Lundbeck/ Proximagen press release
- read the Reuters story