Lundbeck buys Danish biotech firm NeuronIcon

COPENHAGEN, July 7 (Reuters) - Danish pharmaceuticals group H. Lundbeck A/S LUN.CO has agreed to buy privately owned Danish biotechnology firm NeuronIcon to gain technologies for treating brain damage.

Lundbeck, whose main products are anti-depressants and which hopes to grow in neurological treatments, would not say on Tuesday how much it was paying.

“NeuronIcon has produced new knowledge about why and how nerve cells in the brain are lost,” said Jan Egebjerg, head of Lundbeck’s biologic research unit, adding that knowledge would help develop pharmaceuticals for improved treatment of serious brain disorders that lead to nerve cell destruction.

At the same time, Lundbeck signed a deal to cooperate with University of Arhus scientists on further neurology research over the next three years, the company said.

NeuronIcon was founded by scientists at the University of Aarhus and is based on research conducted there and at the University of Berlin, Lundbeck said.

“The scientists have made the world’s first discoveries of how the body’s own protein sortilin kills nerve cells if activated in special situations that arise in connection with disorders such as stroke, spinal cord injuries and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases,” Lundbeck said. (Reporting by John Acher; Additional reporting by Peter Levring; Editing by Dan Lalor)