AbbVie Exercises Exclusive Right to Acquire Mitokinin, Further Strengthening Neuroscience Pipeline

AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) announced today that it has exercised its exclusive right and completed the acquisition of Mitokinin, a discovery-stage biotechnology company developing a potentially first-in-class disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Mitokinin’s lead compound, a selective PINK1 activator, is designed to address mitochondrial dysfunction that is believed to be a major contributing factor to Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis and progression.

PINK1 plays a key role in maintaining a healthy mitochondrial system by facilitating the turnover of dysfunctional mitochondria. Mutations in PINK1 are associated with a loss of PINK1 function and cause familial forms of PD. Activation of PINK1 offers a potentially disease-modifying treatment approach beyond familial PD, by addressing mitochondrial dysfunction and improving mitochondrial health in sporadic PD.

“Parkinson’s disease continues to be a major unmet medical need, impacting patients, caregivers and society. With this acquisition, we are excited to grow our neuroscience portfolio and explore a potential new treatment option for PD,” said Jonathon Sedgwick, Ph.D., vice president and global head of discovery research, AbbVie. “While current PD treatments may alleviate the symptoms of parkinsonism, there are currently no available therapies that prevent progression of the disease. Targeting PINK1 offers a novel approach that may alter disease pathogenesis.”

“Collaboration with AbbVie’s world-class Neuroscience and External Innovation teams added significant value and resources to help accelerate the program to investigational new drug (IND) enabling studies,” said Daniel de Roulet, co-founder and chief executive officer, Mitokinin.

The role of PINK1 in addressing mitochondrial dysfunction has long been recognized; however, developing selective, brain penetrant PINK1 activators for therapeutic use in PD has been challenging.

“Our pre-clinical data demonstrate that our PINK1 activator compound can selectively enhance the active-form of PINK1, which is found on damaged mitochondria, without impacting PINK-1 regulation broadly,” said Nicholas Hertz, Ph.D., co-founder and chief scientific officer, Mitokinin. “We believe this approach could potentially deliver significant clinical benefit to Parkinson’s patients.”

Under the terms of the agreement, AbbVie will pay Mitokinin shareholders $110 million at closing for the acquisition of Mitokinin. Mitokinin shareholders remain eligible for potential additional payments of up to $545 million upon the achievement of certain development and commercial milestones related to the success of the PINK1 program, plus tiered royalties based on net sales.

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