Pfizer has entered into an agreement with the investment firm Bain Capital, for spinning out its neuroscience portfolio into a joint venture. The two companies have created Cereval Therapeutics, after a funding of $350m (€306m) from Bain Capital, and Pfizer is holding a 25% stake in the newly formed company.
Sources confirmed that the jointly-led company will focus on neuropsychiatry and neuroscience, inheriting 10 programs from Pfizer, out of which three are already in clinical trials. On the board of the new company, Pfizer will have two directors: Morris Birnbaum, as the CSO of internal medicine, and Doug Giordano, as senior VP of worldwide business development while from Bain Capital, Chris Gordon and Adam Koppel will join the board.
The portfolio will supposedly include a nicotine abuse treatment, an opioid abuse disorder drug, a treatment for difficult epilepsy populations, a targeted psychosis treatment, a disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s, a symptomatic treatment for Parkinson’s disease, and a few others focused in the area of neuropsychiatry and neuroscience.
Senior Director of Communications at Pfizer, Patricia Kelly, was quoted saying that a D1 partial agonist would be the most advanced assets that Cereval will receive in its portfolio, which should enter a Phase III trial in 2019. She mentioned that the development of a D1 partial agonist was aimed at treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Kelly stated that the company will also receive a ready selective GABA 2/3 agonist – an asset from Pfizer which is currently in Phase II – that will be studied for epilepsy initially. The company believes that the right environment to advance research for potential therapies is putting assets into a neuro-focused company.
Participating strategically and financially in neuroscience research and advancing meaningful therapies to target Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease was part of Pfizer’s plan behind a set of its neuroscience assets, Kelly added.