Merz Therapeutics has successfully acquired Acorda’s Inbrija (levodopa inhalation powder) and Ampyra (dalfampridine) after the latter went bankrupt earlier this year.

The sale was via a “stalking horse” bid, meaning the assets could have gone for more than the $185m opening bid by Merz. These types of bids are used in cases involving bankrupt companies. No competing company joined the auction, however, and Merz closed the transaction at the opening bid value.

Merz said the addition of Inbrija and Ampyra, the latter marketed as Fampyra (fampridine) outside of the US, would “immediately add topline revenue” and enhance the biotech’s ability to expedite clinical development of other assets, as per a 10 July press release.

Merz’s lead product is Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA), used to treat excessive drooling, upper limb spasticity, and cervical dystonia, among others. Inbrija meanwhile is used to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease while Ampyra / Fampyra is approved to help improve walking ability in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Merz CEO Stefan König said the deal “strengthens [the company’s] market position in Parkinson’s disease” while “expanding into the multiple sclerosis segment”.

Merz also expects to increase its US workforce by more than 50% to support the newly added assets.

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Inbrija and Fampyra generated global sales of $31m and $73m, respectively, last year. According to GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Centre, Fampyra used to see sales of over $500m in 2017. But once it lost exclusivity in 2018, generics flooded the market, and sales weakened.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

Merz forecasts its US business to contribute more than 75% of total global revenues for Inbrija and Fampyra over the next decade.

Acorda used to be a big player in the neurodegenerative disorder space up until a few years ago. The formerly listed biotech at one point had $363m to spare when it decided to acquire Finnish biopharma Biotie Therapies, a developer of Parkinson’s disease therapies, in 2016.

However, in subsequent years, Acorda struggled financially as sales of its drugs weakened. Biogen, which had a 2009 licence agreement for Fampyra outside the US, returned the rights to Acorda earlier this year. Shares in the company continued to dive and Acorda ultimately filed for bankruptcy, announced via a 1 April press release.

In addition, Acorda was delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market in mid-April, and closed its doors for the final time last month, leaving 97 employees at its New York site out of work.