Sunovion pays $624M for Canada’s Cynapsus, lead PhIII Parkinson’s med

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals is to pay a 120% premium to buy out Canadian biotech Cynapsus Therapeutics as it looks to get its hands on the company’s late-stage Parkinson’s disease candidate.

Cynapsus ($CYNA) closed before the deal was announced at just over $18 a share, with Sunovion putting $40.50 a share, or $624 million, down for the drugmaker--a 120% premium over its closing price.

What’s the money going on? Predominately, its Phase III candidate, APL-130277, which is being tested as a sublingual thin film of apomorphine to manage so-called "off" episodes associated with PD, which see a major decrease in mobility.

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A pivotal Phase III trial is ongoing, but if successful, the company expects to file for an NDA for APL-130277 in the U.S. in the first half of next year.

A pivotal European clinical program which is looking at the safety and efficacy of APL-130277 in PD patients is also expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016--the same period the merger deal should be formally signed and sealed.

“Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects more than four million people around the world, and there is a significant need for new options to treat the OFF episodes associated with it,” said Nobuhiko Tamura, chairman and CEO of Sunovion.

“We believe that APL-130277 is a novel late-stage candidate with the potential to make a real difference for patients and their families.”

Anthony Giovinazzo, president and CEO at Cynapsus, added: “With its leadership in therapies for central nervous system disorders and commercial experience specific to neurology, we believe Sunovion is best suited to advance APL-130277 in the United States and other key markets.

“This transaction culminates years of dedicated work by the Cynapsus team and represents significant value creation for our security holders.”