AbbVie has acquired discovery-stage biotechnology company Mitokinin in a $655m deal, bolstering its neuroscience pipeline.

AbbVie will make a payment of $110m to shareholders of Mitokinin.

The shareholders are also entitled to receive future payments of $545m, apart from royalty-based payments on net product sales.

The milestone payments are subject to meeting specific development and commercial goals linked to the success of the PTEN Induced Kinase 1 (PINK1) programme.

Mitokinin co-founder and chief scientific officer Nicholas Hertz said: “Our pre-clinical data demonstrate that our PINK1 activator compound can selectively enhance the active form of PINK1, which is found on damaged mitochondria, without impacting PINK-1 regulation broadly.

“We believe this approach could potentially deliver significant clinical benefit to Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients.”

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Established in 2013, Mitokinin focuses on the development of disease-modifying therapies for PD. 

The company’s lead compound is a selective activator of PINK1.

This compound is designed to remediate mitochondrial dysfunction, a key factor in the pathogenesis and advancement of PD.

AbbVie discovery research global head and vice-president Jonathon Sedgwick stated: “PD continues to be a major unmet medical need, impacting patients, caregivers and society. 

“While current PD treatments may alleviate the symptoms of Parkinsonism, there are currently no available therapies that prevent the progression of the disease. Targeting PINK1 offers a novel approach that may alter disease pathogenesis.”

In September 2023, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted marketing authorisation for the company’s Aquipta (atogepant) as a prophylaxis for migraine in adults.