Denmark’s international pharmaceutical company, Lundbeck has acquired Alder in a bid to strengthen its lead in providing treatment for brain diseases amid drawbacks from expiring patents and increasing competition with generics. Unanimously, Alder’s board approved the deal at a 79% premium to the closing price on Friday.

Alder BioPharmaceuticals develops potential “blockbuster” migraine treatment for adults. It is a preventative treatment for episodic and chronic migraines and is expected to have various other indications. Blockbuster drug is a term used for drugs that can reach $1 billion in sales in one year.

Eptinezumab, the antibody that is the major component of the treatment, was submitted for Biologics Licence Application (BLA) to FDA in February 2019. If approved, it will be the first IV CGRP preventative therapy for migraine. The drug will enhance Lundbeck’s portfolio of treatment for pain syndromes together with treatments for other brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression.

It is expected to be launched in the first half of the following year with the FDA setting a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date of 21 February 2020. This is projected to accelerate and diversify Lundbeck’s revenue growth as early as 2020 as well as allow new capabilities in monoclonal antibody process development.

Lundbeck shares bounced from a 3% loss on Monday’s market open to a 4.5% increase at 10:20 GMT following the call with analysts. Alder share (ALDR) is offered at $18 upfront payment and will be up by $2 upon European Medicines Agency’s approval of eptinezumab. Alder share was up in excess of 80% on Monday at $18.40 

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the current year with funding coming from bank financing and cash. Lundbeck Chief Executive Deborah Dunsire expressed the company’s intent to continuously expand with new acquisitions, partnerships, and licensing opportunities. The latest was in May with the $250 million acquisition of Abide Therapeutics research hub based in the US.

Lundbeck was founded in 1915 in Copenhagen by Hans Lundbeck. It started as a trading company and later entered the pharmaceutical industry in the mid-1920s. Today, 70% of it is owned by the Lundbeck Foundation, one of the biggest industrial foundations in Denmark.

Drug treatments for migraine could be at $8.7 billion annual global value by 2026 according to GlobalData analytics firm. In the USA alone, roughly 39 million people suffer from migraine, based on data from the Migraine Research Foundation.

The eptinezumab antibody will be under regulatory approval in the EU during 2020. Submission for approval will follow through in other regions of the world, including China and Japan.