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Acadia Drug Approval May Entice Biogen, Teva as Buyers


After receiving Food and Drug Administration approval for its Parkinson's disease psychosis drug, Acadia Pharmaceuticals (ACAD - Get Report) is an attractive target for strategic buyers and could go for as much as $6 billion, analysts say.

The drug, Nuplazid, is used to treat delusions and hallucinations in patients with psychosis caused by Parkinson's disease, a progressive disease that affects the nervous system and is known for causing tremors. Acadia is expected to report earnings today after market close. The consensus earnings per share forecast is a loss of 4 cents per share.

Still, Nuplazid, was described by San Diego-based Acadia as "paradigm-shifting" in a call with analysts Monday morning, is the first in a new class of anti-psychotic drugs called selective serotonin inverse agonist, or SSIAs. The company has yet to set a price for the drug, but noted on the call that it has trained 132 sales people to market the drug to doctors.

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"It's certainly a company that is very uncommon in biotech," analyst Charles Duncan of Piper Jaffray said in a phone interview. "It really is a brand new class of drugs."

Having a drug ready for market, and one that's the first among SSIAs, is, in part, what makes Acadia so attractive to strategic buyers.

"This is...