Civitas Therapeutics Acquisition
In October 2014, we completed the acquisition of Civitas Therapeutics, a privately-held biotechnology company with two novel neurology products in development. There are three aspects that made this transaction very attractive to us, and that have the potential to deliver substantial value over time:
Products: We obtained global rights to CVT-301 and CVT-427, in development for Parkinson’s disease and migraine, respectively. CVT-301 offers a late-stage opportunity that addresses a clear unmet need for people with Parkinson’s disease—treating OFF episodes, which become more frequent as the disease progresses. OFF episodes are defined by periods of time when background levodopa (L-dopa) therapy does not adequately control Parkinson’s symptoms, leading to reduced ability to move, muscle stiffness and tremor. These episodes can be very disruptive to the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease, their families and caregivers. CVT-301 utilizes the ARCUS® technology and is being studied to provide rapid, reliable delivery of a precise dose of L-dopa through the lungs to return people with Parkinson’s to an ON state; L-dopa is viewed as the gold standard in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. We initiated a Phase 3 clinical trial of CVT-301 in December 2014.
CVT-427 is a triptan-based migraine therapy; we are preparing to initiate the first Phase 1 clinical trial of this compound. CVT-427 also utilizes the ARCUS technology platform.
ARCUS® technology: ARCUS is a proprietary dry-powder pulmonary delivery system that has potential applications in multiple disease areas. This platform is being studied to allow consistent and precise delivery of significantly larger doses of medication than are possible with conventional pulmonary delivery systems. The ARCUS inhaler is a passive, breath-actuated, reusable device operated by the user breathing in on the mouthpiece. The ARCUS technology has been used to deliver more than one million doses to patients in clinical trials of various compounds.
Our acquisition of Civitas included a commercial-scale manufacturing facility for ARCUS-based products, located in Chelsea, MA.
Team: Just as important as the products and technology, the Civitas team joining Acorda has strengthened our organization. In addition to their expertise in the ARCUS technology and experience with the development programs for CVT-301 and CVT-427, our organizations were very closely aligned in terms of culture, values and commitment to the patients we serve.