AbbVie boosts neuroscience portfolio with $8.7 billion acquisition of Cerevel Therapeutics

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In a strategic move to fortify its position in the neuroscience drug market, AbbVie announced on Wednesday its plan to acquire Cerevel Therapeutics for a substantial $8.7 billion. This significant deal is set to reshape AbbVie’s drug pipeline, providing a vital boost amid increasing competition and generic alternatives for its flagship medications, including the widely-used Humira.

Under the agreed terms, AbbVie will acquire Cerevel at a rate of $45 per share, a move that propelled Cerevel’s stock to a 16% surge after the official announcement. Despite the dip of less than 1% in AbbVie’s shares during extended trading, the acquisition is expected to be completed by mid-2024.

This acquisition is part of AbbVie’s recent efforts to diversify its pharmaceutical portfolio. Last week, the company sealed a deal worth nearly $10 billion to acquire Immunogen, a prominent cancer drug developer. These strategic moves highlight AbbVie’s commitment to navigating the evolving pharmaceutical landscape and staying ahead of generic competition.

Cerevel’s inclusion in AbbVie’s portfolio is aimed at addressing unmet needs in the realm of psychiatric and neurological disorders. The acquisition brings with it a promising pipeline of drugs, notably Emraclidine. This experimental treatment is designed to tackle both schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease psychosis, focusing on symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Currently undergoing a phase one study in elderly volunteers, Emraclidine holds considerable potential for future therapeutic advancements.

Richard Gonzalez, CEO and chairman of AbbVie, expressed confidence in the growth prospects arising from this acquisition. He stated, “Our existing neuroscience portfolio and our combined pipeline with Cerevel represent a significant growth opportunity well into the next decade.” Gonzalez emphasized AbbVie’s intention to leverage its commercial capabilities, international infrastructure, and regulatory expertise to deliver substantial shareholder value, foreseeing multibillion-dollar sales potential across Cerevel’s diverse portfolio of assets.

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, AbbVie’s strategic acquisitions position the company for sustained growth and innovation, ensuring its ability to meet the healthcare needs of patients worldwide. The successful integration of Cerevel Therapeutics into AbbVie’s fold is anticipated to further solidify the company’s position as a key player in the neuroscience pharmaceutical market.

(Source: WSJ | CNBC | BioSpace)

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