Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners announced today that its BioDiscovery 4 portfolio company Chase Pharmaceuticals, a US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of improved treatments for neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), has been acquired by a subsidiary of Allergan plc. Allergan acquired Chase for an upfront payment of $125 million plus potential regulatory and commercial milestones related to Chase’s lead compound, CPC-201, and certain backup compounds.
"We based our investment on a robust scientific hypothesis for improving the symptomatic treatment of the highly disabling Alzheimer’s disease and were confident that the Phase 2 trials could generate supporting data. In addition, we are proud to have participated in the transformation of a small virtual company into a credible biopharmaceutical company capable of registering a novel drug in this indication. This acquisition validates our investment strategy, as it confirms that innovative solutions for high unmet medical needs, solid product development and strong investor support leads to profitable exits for all shareholders."
Chase’s lead compound, CPC201 is a patent-protected combination of the most commonly prescribed Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) donepezil and the peripherally acting cholinergic blocker solifenacin. AChEIs have been shown to improve cognition in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Currently approved AChEIs are only modestly effective due to dose-limiting side effects, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Chase’s next-generation formulations offer the possibility of greater and more tolerable dosing, and may provide the potential for significantly improved cognition and function in AD patients. Chase’s lead compound recently completed Phase 2 trials and after feedback from the FDA, Allergan intends to advance CPC-201 into a single Phase 3 registration study in the first half of 2017.
"The acquisition came at a time where we were accelerating the development and the financing of the company. Raphaël and his colleagues at Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners team have been instrumental in providing support to the management team and the company since 2014."
The BioDiscovery 4 fund invested in the $22 million Series B financing of Chase Pharmaceuticals in 2014 and became its largest shareholder. The life sciences fund BioDiscovery 4, raised in 2012, is managed by Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and has invested in thirteen companies. The sale of Chase Pharmaceuticals to Allergan is the second trade sale in the fund after the acquisition of the portfolio company OncoEthix by Merck in 2014.