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Amid launch efforts, Neurocrine doles out £48M to acquire small UK biotech Diurnal

As Neurocrine Biosciences grows through U.S. drug launches, the company is simultaneously aiming to expand its global reach with a small buyout.

Neurocrine Biosciences shelled out £48.3 (approximately $56.5 million) to buy London-based Diurnal Group, the company disclosed in a securities filing. Nuerocrine, a company with approved therapies for tardive dyskinesia, Parkinson’s disease, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids, believes the deal can help it grow “clinical development and commercial capabilities” in the U.K., the disclosure said.

Diurnal, founded in 2004, is a specialty pharma company working on hormone therapeutics to treat rare and chronic endocrine conditions. The company has a pipeline of candidates to treat hypogonadism, hypothyroidism and other endocrine disorders, its website says.

The acquisition is expected to close by late October or early November, Shares Magazine reports.

The deal comes as Neurocrine works to grow its profile through drug launches. The company’s 2017 launch Ingrezza treats tardive dyskinesia and is expected to haul in up to $1.4 billion in sales this year. The company is also working to launch Parkinson’s disease drug Ongentys, but that rollout has been slowed by the pandemic.

The buyout is still pending and will need approval Diurnal shareholders. Diurnal chairman Anders Harfstrand recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the acquisition, highlighting “risks associated with achieving Diurnal’s vision of creating a profitable business,” as quoted by Shares Magazine.