Biotie terminates agreement to buy Newron

Newron is exploring all options for safinamide

Biotie Therapies has terminated an agreement to acquire Newron Pharmaceuticals, an Italian research and development company focused on novel CNS and pain therapies for €45m.

Biotie will be entitled to receive a break-up fee of €1.5m.

The Finnish firm said it had decided to terminate the deal after it estimated a material adverse effect from Newron regaining full global rights to safinamide, currently in Phase III development for Parkinson’s disease, from Merck Serono as of April 2012.

After reviewing this development, the Board of Directors of Biotie has notified Newron of its decision to exercise its right to terminate the merger plan and combination agreement, without further obligations from Biotie.

Luca Benatti, Newron’s chief executive, said: ‘Regaining the global commercial rights to safinamide provides Newron with the opportunity to pursue all strategic options.

‘We estimate that the registration dossier will be ready for submission to health authorities in key world markets by the end of 2012.’

Biotie’s leading product candidate is nalmefene, for treating alcohol dependence. The firm will continue to focus on developing drugs for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

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