Supernus to Acquire Adamas and Its Therapies, Gocovri and Osmolex ER

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by Mary Chapman |

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Two established Parkinson’s disease (PD) treatments — Gocovri (amantadine) and Osmolex ER (amantadine hydrochloride) — will move to Supernus’ Pharmaceuticals when it completes an agreement now in place for it to acquire Adamas Pharmaceutical.

The $450 million agreement — $50 million of which is contingent upon certain Gocovri sale milestones  being achieved — is expected to be finalized later this year or early in 2022.

“This acquisition represents a significant step to further build a strong and diverse Parkinson’s disease portfolio, and aligns with our focus of acquiring value-enhancing, clinically differentiated medicines to treat CNS [ central nervous system] diseases,” Jack Khattar, Supernus’ president and CEO, said in a press release.

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“We have a proven track record of strong commercial execution, and look forward to building on Gocovri’s growth momentum so that more patients can benefit from access to Adamas’ innovative neurological therapies,” Khattar added.

Gocovri, the first therapy approved in the United States for levodopa-induced dyskinesia, the involuntary and jerky movements that can afflict Parkinson’s patients on long-term levodopa therapy. Its extended-release capsules treat dyskinesia, and can also be taken as an add-on treatment for “off” episodes.

Parkinson’s is characterized by the loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells, those responsible for releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical messenger that permits nerve cells to communicate and also helps to regulate movement. Diminished brain levels of dopamine can cause a myriad of motor and non-motor symptoms.

Levodopa is a standard in various Parkinson’s treatments because it is converted into dopamine in the brain (dopamine itself cannot cross the brain-blood barrier). However, long-term use often results in dyskinesia, and the unpredictable re-emergence of stiffness and tremors between doses of levodopa-based medicines known as “off” periods.

Recent post-hoc analyses of clinical trial data reported that Gocovri worked better than other levodopa add-on treatments and amantadine formulations in lessening off episodes and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s patients.

Osmolex ER (extended release capsule) is approved to treat Parkinson’s motor symptoms, including those caused by other therapies. Amantadine, the active ingredient in Osmolex, works to ease the severity of movement and muscle control issues —  called extrapyramidal reactions — that come with long-term use of medicines that affect dopamine receptors. Adamas acquired global rights to Osmolex ER late last year.

“We are pleased that Supernus recognized the value created at Adamas and firmly believe this path forward is an excellent outcome for not only our shareholders, but all our stakeholders,” said Neil F. McFarlane, Adamas’ CEO.

“With their shared commitment to helping patients affected by neurological diseases and their extensive resources, Supernus can continue to advance our mission and reach,” McFarlane added.

The directing boards of both companies have approved the acquisition agreement’s terms.

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