Teva Expands CNS Portfolio With Auspex Acquisition

April 6, 2015

Teva is expanding its footprint in the central nervous system treatment market with the $3.2 billion purchase of movement disorders drugmaker Auspex Pharmaceuticals.

La Jolla, Calif.-based Auspex plans to submit an NDA this year for SD-809 (deutetrabenazine) to treat chorea, an involuntary movement disorder that often accompanies Huntington’s disease, with commercial launch expected in 2016. Results of studies targeting tardive dyskinesia also are expected in a couple of months, and treatments for Parkinson’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome are in the pipeline.

The planned merger not only strengthens Teva’s leadership position in the CNS field but also expands its presence in underserved markets. Few treatment options exist for Huntington’s disease other than for specific symptoms, while there are no treatments for tardive dyskinesia, Teva says.

Teva’s motivation may also be spurred by the impending loss of patent protection for its flagship multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), after a federal judge refused the firm’s request to block generics from Mylan and Sandoz.

For Auspex, the merger gives the company access to Teva’s significant experience with pushing products through the pipeline, says President and CEO Pratik Shah. — Lena Freund