2021-08-11| M&A

Harmony Acquires New Asset for $3.5 Million to Treat Rare Neurological Diseases

by Manju Bhaskar
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On August 9th, Pennsylvania-based Harmony Biosciences announced buying HBS-102, an MCHR1 antagonist from ConSynance Therapeutics, Inc. for an upfront payment of $3.5 million. ConSynance is also eligible for potential milestone payments and royalties in the future. As per the terms, Harmony will acquire full development and global commercialization rights to the asset with the exception of Greater China.

“HBS-102 acquisition represents first addition to the pipeline beyond WAKIX® and our intention to continue adding a robust portfolio of products in line with our vision of becoming a leading rare neurological disease company,” said John C. Jacobs, President, and CEO of Harmony.


Emerging Player in Rare Neurological Diseases

Established by its founder Paragon Biosciences LLC in the fall of 2017, Harmony Biosciences is dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative therapies for people living with rare neurological disorders having unmet medical needs.

In August 2019, it received FDA approval for its first commercial product, WAKIX® (pitolisant) tablets. The company is currently evaluating pitolisant for broader applications in neurological disorders that may be mediated by the H3 receptor.

“Harmony has made significant progress during the first half of 2021 by advancing commercialization of WAKIX® with a strong second quarter revenues due to increase in average patients on WAKIX® and the number of healthcare professionals prescribing the product,” John added.

Besides the latest acquisition, Harmony is expanding its clinical programs and business development objectives by consummating a strategic financial collaboration with Blackstone providing the additional capital to drive its continued long-term growth.


HBS-102 – A Potential Treatment for Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a rare, chronic, debilitating neurological disorder of sleep-wake state instability affecting men and women equally. It impairs the ability to perform routine tasks and compromises the overall quality of life.

HBS-102 is a Melatonin Concentrating Hormone Receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonist offering potential treatment for narcolepsy and other rare neurological disorders. It targets the melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) brain cells in the hypothalamus, which make up the control center for rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and related behaviors.

Basically, HBS-102 blocks the activity of MCH neurons and reduces wakefulness, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.

“Most people living with narcolepsy experience symptoms of REM dysregulation significantly impairing their lives. The acquisition and successful development of HBS-102 could represent a next-generation therapy for narcolepsy patients by targeting the control center for REM sleep and its associated behaviors,” said Jeffrey Dayno, M.D., CMO of Harmony.

Harmony will complete additional work to prepare and submit an IND application with the plan to initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial.

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