Biotie axes acquisition of Newron
Bresso/Turku – The wedding's off between Newron and Biotie. The bride has run away. Shares in Italy's Newron Pharmaceuticals plunged after its proposed merger with Biotie Therapies Corp was called off by the Finnish firm. Biotie’s decision to terminate the merger plan, which was made public in September, follows Newron’s announcement a week ago that Merck Serono, its global partner for the Phase III Parkinson disease therapy safinamide, would pass the drug back to Newron in April 2012. Merck believes "safinamide has a more limited market potential than originally anticipated".
Biotie says that under terms of the merger plan and combination agreement the return of safinamide rights to Newron constitutes a material adverse effect and gives it the right to cancel the deal. As a result, the Turku-based firm will also receive a break-up fee of 1.5 million euros from Newron.
Newron is putting up a brave face maintaining that that regaining global commercial rights to safinamide will open up “substantial opportunities to create value for its shareholders.” Newron believes a registration dossier will be ready for submission to health authorities by the end of 2012, pending results from the Phase III Motion and Settle studies, which are scheduled to report during the first half of next year. It has hired consultants JSB Partners to help study the alternatives. The divorce is "the opportunity to pursue all strategic options", said Chief executive Luca Benatti.