Biotie to Acquire Newron Pharmaceuticals
In acquiring Newron Biotie creates a deep pipeline with two drugs, nalmefene and safinamide, in late-stage Phase 3 development targeting alcohol dependence and Parkinson's disease, respectively. It also creates a critical mass and a broad and risk-diversified pipeline of clinical-stage compounds, focused on disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) and niche inflammatory disease.
New Biotie is a biopharmaceutical company with significant CNS expertise, international operations and industry leading partners including Lundbeck, Roche, Merck Serono and UCB Pharma.
Timo Veromaa (in picture), President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Biotie, commented:
"We are excited about our acquisition of Newron Pharmaceuticals, a company with a considerable presence in the CNS space and a compelling late-stage asset in safinamide with potential for significant near-term milestones. Our combined portfolio, addressing major market opportunities, promises to deliver differentiated novel medicines to patients in areas of unmet medical need.
"We see this transaction as a win-win for both companies' shareholders and it confirms Biotie as a key consolidator of high-quality CNS assets. We look forward to optimising the combined robust product pipeline to create value for our shareholders, partners and other stakeholders," he added.
Luca Benatti, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Newron, stated: "We have been working hard to find the right partner and in Biotie we believe we have the best combination to create a European entity with critical mass to ensure that our pipeline will generate value for our shareholders."
The Transaction is to be effected as a European Union cross-border merger. According to the Merger Plan, Biotie will issue to the shareholders of Newron initial Consideration Shares, with the possibility of additional contingent consideration consisting of options and a receivable intended to be used to pay the subscription price for shares subscribed based on such options, such additional consideration hereinafter referred to as the "Contingent Value Rights ("CVR").
Biotie will continue to focus on the development of innovative, clinically differentiated medicines to address unmet medical needs primarily associated with neurological and psychiatric diseases and selected inflammatory diseases.
Timo Veromaa, President and CEO of Biotie will continue in his current position.
Luca Benatti, Managing Director and CEO of Newron will continue to lead Newron through to the closing of the deal, after which he will step down to pursue other opportunities.
The management team of Biotie as at closing of the Transaction is to be strengthened by the addition of Newron's Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Stefan Weber, who joined Newron in 2005 prior to its IPO in 2006. He has more than 20 years of industry experience in finance and has served as CFO of both public and private biotechnology companies since 2000.
No changes will take place in the board of directors of Biotie. The Transaction is not expected to affect Biotie's operations or organizations in Finland and in the US. The structure of the Newron organization in Italy and Switzerland will be reviewed and restructuring is planned.
As at 30 June 2011, the number of personnel at Biotie was 39 and the total number at Newron was 29.