Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck has agreed to purchase Netherlands-based Prexton Therapeutics for up to €905m.

Under the deal, Lundbeck will make an upfront payment of €100m, followed by €805m on achieving development and sales milestones.

The acquisition will add Prexton’s drug candidate, foliglurax, to Lundbeck’s pipeline of treatments for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Foliglurax is a selective, small-molecule, positive allosteric group III metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4 PAM) stimulator formulated to trigger a compensatory neuronal system in the brain that is mostly unaffected in Parkinson’s.

It is being developed to address motor symptoms such as muscle rigidity, resting tremor and uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia).

Lundbeck interim CEO and CFO Anders Götzsche said: “By acquiring Prexton, Lundbeck will obtain global rights to foliglurax, an exciting first-in-class compound, and gain full control of the asset.

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“Its potential indication in Parkinson’s fits perfectly within Lundbeck’s core areas and this treatment option also appears to be highly interesting for patients, physicians and payors.”

“Foliglurax addresses high unmet needs with its potential indication in Parkinson’s fitting perfectly within Lundbeck’s core areas and this treatment option also appears to be highly interesting for patients, physicians and payors.”

The compound will be investigated in a double-blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm Phase II clinical trial measuring changes in OFF-time (time where the treatment does not work) in Parkinson’s and dyskinesia, including levodopa-induced dyskinesia.

The trial is set to recruit 165 subjects across the UK, Germany, France, Austria, Spain and Italy.

Foliglurax’s safety, tolerability and efficacy in minimising motor complications of levodopa therapy will be evaluated during the trial in patients suffering from end-of-dose wearing off and levodopa-induced dyskinesia.

Initial results from the Phase II programme are expected in the first half of 2019.