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ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACAD) is “One to Watch”

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused using innovative technology to fuel drug discovery and clinical development of novel treatments for central nervous system disorders. All four of the product candidates in ACADIA’s pipeline originate from discoveries made using the company’s proprietary drug discovery platform.

The company’s portfolio include three product candidates that are currently in clinical development and one product candidate in IND-track development. ACADIA’s pipeline addresses diseases that are not well served by currently available therapies and represent large potential commercial opportunities. These product candidates offer innovative therapeutic approaches and may provide significant advantages over current therapies.

ACADIA’s most advanced product candidate is pimavanserin, which is in Phase III development for Parkinson’s disease psychosis. Pimavanserin, a new chemical entity that can be taken orally as a tablet once-a-day, selectively blocks the activity of the 5-HT2A receptor, a drug target that plays an important role in the treatment of various neuropsychiatric disorders. ACADIA holds worldwide rights to pimavanserin.

Today the company hit a 52-week low after announcing the conclusion of a previously established collaboration with a wholly owned subsidiary of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE: VRX) to develop and commercialize pimavanserin in the United States and Canada. ACADIA has regained all rights to the product candidate and will receive a one-time cash payment of $8.75 million to transition the program back to ACADIA and cover costs associated with ongoing clinical trials.

Uli Hacksell, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of ACADIA, commented, “While we have enjoyed a great collaboration with Biovail, both parties recognize that pimavanserin and the broad development strategy at the core of our collaboration were not consistent with the strategic focus of the new Valeant following the recently completed merger. With worldwide rights to pimavanserin and a focus on our ongoing Phase III program, we believe ACADIA is positioned on an attractive path forward for this product candidate.”

With a solid balance sheet, a significant position held by insiders and analysts projecting price targets of between $2.00 – $5.00, the company is worthy of a closer look. Although wall street took today’s news negatively, ending ties with Valeant Pharmaceuticals could turn out being a good thing. They now have millions more in the bank plus have the option to re-partner for new upfront money. Some have also speculated that the company is a more attractive takeover target since they own full rights to pimavanserin.

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