Cerevel Goes Public In SPAC Merger To Fund Neuroscience Programs
Deal Snapshot: The $445m Cerevel gains will help as it plans to have at least six programs in the clinic within the next year. CEO Tony Coles will head up a public firm for the first time since Amgen bought Onyx.
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Merck pays undisclosed upfront fees and promises up to $500m for milestones under licensing and collaboration agreement. Meanwhile, Tetraphase and Xerava are being acquired by La Jolla, after previous bids by Melinta and AcelRx.
Finance Watch: Pfizer Ventures' Dalton Makes Sense Of Neuroscience Focus Within New $600m VC Fund Commitment
Venture Capital Edition: Pfizer deprioritized neuroscience as an early R&D focus earlier this year, but will stay involved by spending 25% of the $600m added to its venture fund on neurology investments. Also, China VC investment keeps up fast pace and Alta Partners closes a new $130m health care fund.
Pfizer is abandoning research to find new drugs for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, realizing that finding treatments for the diseases is very tough - but M&A could allow an eventual return, analysts say.