Novartis buys neuroscience company Cadent for up to $770 million

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks Novartis' Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., January 2, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis said on Thursday it would acquire U.S.-based neuroscience company Cadent for up to $770 million, gaining full rights to Cadent’s portfolio.

“Cadent will receive a $210 million upfront payment and will be eligible for up to $560 million in milestone payments, for a total potential consideration of $770 million,” Cadent said in a statement.

Novartis said the acquisition added two new clinical stage programs to its neuroscience portfolio, one for schizophrenia and the other for movement disorders.

It also includes a buyout of milestones and royalties for MIJ821, a clinical stage molecule that Novartis licensed exclusively from Cadent in 2015 and that it is actively developing for treatment resistant depression, Novartis said.

Cadent and Novartis said they expected the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2021. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Riham Alkousaa, Arun Koyyur