(By Balaseshan) Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) said it expanded its central nervous system development pipeline with the purchase of the Huntexil development program rights from NeuroSearch A/S for about $26 million.
Teva has concluded an asset transfer agreement with NeuroSearch A/S of Denmark to buy all rights, assets and obligations relating to Huntexil (pridopidine / ACR16), a drug candidate being developed for the symptomatic treatment of hand movement, balance and gait disturbances in Huntington disease (HD).
Under the agreement, Teva will pay to NeuroSearch about $26 million over a period of at least six months. Regulatory and commercialization milestone payments may result in additional funding for NeuroSearch.
Previous trials in the U.S., European Union and Canada demonstrated significant symptomatic relief for patients with HD including improved hand movements and improved gait and balance.
These results were observed without any side effects such as sedation and depression seen with other therapies such as neuroleptics and tetrabenazine. Teva believes that Huntexil will, used as a symptomatic agent, make a real difference to the quality of life for patients suffering from HD.
"Based on the clinical trial evidence to date, we believe Huntexil holds promise for symptomatic relief for HD and merits additional study in late-stage clinical development," said Michael Hayden, president of global R&D and chief scientific officer of Teva.
Huntington disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by uncoordinated and uncontrollable movements, cognitive deterioration, and behavioral and psychological problems. Huntington disease affects about one person in 10,000 in North America and Europe and generally results in death within 15 to 25 years of diagnosis.
TEVA is trading up 1.11 percent at $41.04 on Thursday. The stock has been trading between $35.16 and $46.65 for the past 52 weeks.