AbbVie to amass Cerevel Therapeutics for $8.7 billion

A sign stands outside a Abbvie facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 20, 2021.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

AbbVie on Wednesday said it will acquire neuroscience drugmaker Cerevel Therapeutics for roughly $8.7 billion. 

Under the terms of the deal, AbbVie will pay $45 per share for Cerevel. AbbVie said it expects to complete the acquisition in the middle of 2024. 

Shares of Cerevel jumped 16% after the close Wednesday to nearly $43 per share, just below the purchase price. Shares of Abbvie were down less than 1% in extended trading.

The deal is AbbVie’s latest attempt to expand its drug pipeline as its top-selling treatments, such as Humira, face generic competition. Just last week, AbbVie agreed to buy cancer drug developer Immunogen for nearly $10 billion. 

Cerevel will specifically beef up AbbVie’s portfolio for psychiatric and neurological disorders “where significant unmet needs remain,” according to a release from AbbVie. 

Cerevel will bring over drugs such as Emraclidine, an experimental treatment for both schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease psychosis, including symptoms like hallucinations and delusion. That drug is currently in a phase one study in elderly volunteers. 

“Our existing neuroscience portfolio and our combined pipeline with Cerevel represents a significant growth opportunity well into the next decade,” said Richard Gonzalez, CEO and chairman of AbbVie, in a statement. “AbbVie will leverage its deep commercial capabilities, international infrastructure, and regulatory and clinical expertise to deliver substantial shareholder value with multibillion-dollar sales potential across Cerevel’s portfolio of assets.”

AbbVie said it will hold an investor conference call about the deal on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. ET.

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