Bristol Myers Squibb, the global pharmaceutical giant, announced Friday that it will acquire Karuna Therapeutics, which makes drugs to treat schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, in an all-cash deal valued at $14 billion. dollars, with the aim of strengthening its portfolio of drugs intended for neuroscience.
Bristol-Myers said in a statement that it would pay $330 per share in cash, a premium of about 53 percent to Karuna’s stock price on Thursday.
The increasing prevalence of schizophrenia, driven in part by an aging population, has led to a push to make more drugs to treat it. The market for these therapies is expected to reach $12.6 billion by 2032, according to the research firm. Market.We. Earlier this month, biomedical company AbbVie purchased Cerevel Therapeutics, which develops drugs to treat psychiatric and neurological disorders, including schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease, for approximately $8.7 billion.
Karuna’s big bet on schizophrenia is the drug KarXT, which the Food and Drug Administration has accepted for review. The company said it plans to begin marketing the drug in September 2024, pending regulatory approval.
“We expect KarXT to further our growth through the late 2020s and into the next decade,” Christopher Boerner, chief executive officer of Bristol Myers Squibb, said in a statement.
The boards of directors of both companies unanimously approved the deal. Shares of Bristol Myers Squibb rose 2.5 percent in early trading, while shares of Karuna jumped almost 50 percent.
Bristol’s other medications for schizophrenia include the drug Abilify. In recent years, the company has also increased its efforts in developing cancer drugs and, to that end, acquired Celgene, maker of the blockbuster cancer drugs Thalomid and Revlimid, for $74 billion in 2019.