H. Lundbeck A/SThrough the acquisition of the Aarhus-based biotech company NeuronIcon, Lundbeck will gain ownership of technologies that may lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of brain damage following strokes or similar events. The acquisition is the result of Lundbeck's intensified collaboration with universities in Denmark and abroad.

Lundbeck significantly strengthens its foundation for developing new and innovative pharmaceuticals for the future treatment of brain damage and brain disorders through the acquisition of Aarhus-based biotech company NeuronIcon and its ground-breaking technologies. At the same time, Lundbeck has signed a collaborative agreement with the University of Arhus on additional neurology research.

The acquisition of NeuronIcon provides Lundbeck with opportunities to develop new therapies for acute brain damage after strokes or skull fractures, areas in which there is presently a great need for effective treatment options. Due to this lack of treatment options, patients often have to live with serious disabilities and strongly reduced quality of life, but new pharmaceuticals would change this situation.

"NeuronIcon has produced new knowledge about why and how nerve cells in the brain are lost. This knowledge and the company's promising technologies provide a solid foundation for Lundbeck to develop new pharmaceuticals for improved treatment of the very serious brain disorders that lead to nerve cell destruction," says Jan Egebjerg, Divisional Director of Lundbeck's biologic research unit.

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

These discoveries enable Lundbeck to decide where to target these disorders and how to prevent the situations that result in the destruction of nerve cells in the brain.

"By accessing NeuronIcon's know-how and technology, we will get a better understanding of what it will take to avoid cell death. The trick is to avoid the activation of Sortilin, and Lundbeck has special expertise in controlling the interaction of molecules in the body. We will now need to identify compounds that can prevent such activation, and in the course of a few years we will hopefully have the first pharmaceutical candidate in this area," Jan Egebjerg says.

The agreement between Lundbeck and NeuronIcon is the latest result of Lundbeck's intensified collaboration with universities in Denmark and abroad. To further intensify the alliance, Lundbeck has signed an agreement with the University of Aarhus on supporting the university's continuing research in the area to which NeuronIcon dedicates its resources. The agreement gives Lundbeck certain rights to any new discoveries made by the university scientists over the course of the next three years.

"We at the University of Aarhus are very pleased with this agreement. The agreement reflects how the university can obtain unrestricted funds for basic research, which the business community, in this case Lundbeck, can subsequently employ. This is a mutually fruitful type of collaboration, and we would like to develop this type of collaboration to other areas of research," says Søren E. Frandsen, pro-rector of strategic areas at the university.

NeuronIcon is a privately owned company founded through the injection of capital from Østjyst Innovation and strategic consulting from Cadenza Partners. At NeuronIcon, they are very pleased with the fact that Lundbeck intends to employ and commercialise the company's discoveries.

"We have been very happy with our collaboration with Lundbeck these past few years. Lundbeck has the expertise to ensure the successful commercial utilisation of NeuronIcon's discoveries in a number of disabling psychiatric and neuro-degenerative disorders," says Anders Nykjær, professor, chief executive officer and co-founder of NeuronIcon.

About Lundbeck
H. Lundbeck A/S (LUN.CO, LUN DC, HLUKY) is an international pharmaceutical company highly committed to improve the quality of life for people suffering from central nervous system (CNS) disorders. For this purpose Lundbeck is engaged in the research and development, production, marketing and sale of pharmaceuticals across the world, targeted at disorders like depression and anxiety, schizophrenia, insomnia, Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Lundbeck was founded in 1915 by Hans Lundbeck in Copenhagen, Denmark, and employs today over 5,500 people worldwide. Lundbeck is one of the worlds leading pharmaceutical companies working with CNS disorders. In 2008, the company's revenue was DKK 11.3 billion (approximately EUR 1.5 billion or USD 2.2 billion). For more information, please visit www.lundbeck.com.