Otsuka Pharma snags a late-stage ADHD drug in $250M Neurovance buyout

Brian Goff

Seven months after Neurovance cleared its last mid-stage hurdle for its ADHD drug, the small Cambridge, MA-based biotech is being plucked by Otsuka Pharmaceutical in a deal worth up to $250 million.

Neurovance has so far revealed venture rounds totaling $13.3 million, with Novartis Venture Fund leading the way. Now Otsuka will pay $100 million upfront to grab the company and its therapy, with another $150 million in milestones on the table.

Investigators reported last summer that centanafadine, or CTN, 400 mg scored a -15.1 point change from baseline in the primary endpoint for ADHD versus an -8.1 point change observed with placebo. And they boasted recording a significant effect size that would help position this drug as a useful second-line therapy behind commonly used stimulants.

The drug is described by Neurovance as a triple reuptake inhibitor that targets norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, putting it in a scientific field that Otsuka will be closely familiar with.

It’s a big market, covering tens of millions of prescriptions in the US each year, which GlobalData expects to grow to around $14 billion in the top 7 markets by 2024.

Timothy Barberich, the former CEO of Sepracor, invested in the biotech and sits on the board.

Brian Goff, Chief Operating Officer, noted:

CTN has the potential to address significant unmet medical needs for people with ADHD, where there is a need for new, innovative alternatives to the stimulants in use today. We are pleased that this acquisition secures continued development of CTN, offers new opportunities for the ADHD community and expands CNS leadership for OPC.

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