Mitsubishi Tanabe Buys NeuroDerm for $1.1 Bilion

28.07.2017 -

Japanese drugmaker Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has agreed to acquire Israel’s NeuroDerm for around $1.1 billion in cash.

The Tokyo-headquartered group said it was particularly attracted by NeuroDerm’s candidate drug for Parkinson’s disease that is currently in Phase III clinical trials in Europe and the US and expected to launch in 2019. Mitsubishi Tanabe added that the deal also helps with its strategy to grow in the US, where it has a sales target of 80 billion yen ($717 million) by fiscal year 2020.

The deal, which has the support of NeuroDerm’s board of directors, is said to be the largest-ever purchase of an Israeli firm by a Japanese company, as well as the biggest acquisition of an Israeli pharmaceutical company.

A special meeting of NeuroDerm’s shareholders to approve the merger is expected to be held in autumn. The transaction is planned to close in the fourth quarter, following the usual closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

According to Reuters news agency, Jefferies analyst Peter Welford regards a counter bid to “perhaps be unlikely,” given the significant premium offered and existing shareholder agreement. The offer of $39 per share represents a 79% premium over the unaffected price on Jun. 9, 2017 of NeuroDerm’s ordinary shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market and a 17% premium over its closing stock price on Jul. 21.

The Rehovot-based pharma company is developing drug-device combinations for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Its lead product is ND0612 for treating Parkinson's disease, and NeuroDerm is aiming to submit regulatory applications in Europe by the end of 2018. Welford said global sales could reach $1.7 billion if the drug is approved.

Mitsubishi Tanaba said it expects the drug to be used to treat patients with advanced stage Parkinson’s for whom one of the main drugs, levodopa, is not effective in controlling motor complications.