US-based pharmaceutical company AbbVie has agreed to acquire Cerevel Therapeutics, a company focused on developing treatments for neuroscience diseases, for a total of $8.7bn.

Cerevel has a pipeline of clinical-stage and preclinical candidates with potential across several neuroscience diseases, such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease (PD), and mood disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie will acquire all outstanding shares of Cerevel common stock at a price of $45 per share in cash.

The Board of Directors of both companies have approved the proposed transaction.

The deal is expected to be completed in mid-2024, subject to certain customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals and approvals by Cerevel shareholders.

The acquisition will add several assets that can improve standards of care across psychiatric and neurological disorders and complement its neuroscience portfolio, said AbbVie.

AbbVie chairman and CEO Richard Gonzalez said: “Our existing neuroscience portfolio and our combined pipeline with Cerevel represents a significant growth opportunity well into the next decade.

“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.”

Cerevel has a portfolio that contains five clinical-stage investigational therapies and several preclinical compounds with the potential to treat a wide range of neuroscience diseases.

Its late-stage asset Emraclidine, a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of the muscarinic M4 receptor, is a potential, next-generation antipsychotic treatment for schizophrenia patients.

The drug showed promising efficacy and safety in a Phase 1b study, in treating schizophrenia and is currently being evaluated in two Phase 2 clinical trials.

In addition, Cerevel has several other assets in clinical development, which can be complementary to AbbVie’s priority areas within neuroscience.

Tavapadon, a dopamine D1/D5 selective partial agonist for the management of PD, is currently in Phase 3 studies and can be used both as monotherapy and adjunctive treatment.

Based on its efficacy and safety-tolerability profile, Tavapadon can be used in early PD, complementary to AbbVie’s existing symptomatic therapies for advanced PD.

CVL-354 is a potential kappa opioid receptor (KOR) antagonist, currently in Phase 1 development, significantly improves efficacy and tolerability for major depressive disorder (MDD).

Darigabat, an alpha 2/3/5 selective GABAA receptor PAM, is intended for treatment-resistant epilepsy and panic disorder.

Morgan Stanley & Co. served as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis as legal advisor to AbbVie. Centerview Partners served as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins as legal advisor to Cerevel on the transaction.

Cerevel Therapeutics president and CEO Ron Renaud said: “With AbbVie’s long-standing expertise in developing and commercialising medicines on a global scale, Cerevel’s novel therapies will be well-positioned to reach more people living with neuroscience diseases.

“The talented, passionate, and dedicated Cerevel team has made great progress over the past five years in developing our innovative suite of potential medicines, and we are pleased that AbbVie has recognised the tremendous potential of our pipeline. This acquisition reinforces the renaissance we are seeing in neuroscience, and we are proud to be at the forefront.”