Biogen acquires rights to neuro disease programs

WESTON, Mass. and ZURICH — In a deal that will bolster its drug development capabilities, Biogen Idec has acquired a subsidiary of Swiss-based Neurimmune Holding AG.

Among other assets, the agreement gives Biogen the worldwide rights to three preclinical immunotherapy programs. The three programs are focused on the discovery and development of novel human antibodies that address three central nervous system targets: alpha-synuclein, tau and TDP-43.

“These targets are believed to be relevant for the treatment and prevention of a wide variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,” both companies said in a joint statement. Biogen revealed it will make an initial payment of $32.5 million for the rights to the three programs in pre-clinical development, and up to $395 million in contingent payments. Under terms of the deal, Biogen will be responsible for the development of the preclinical candidates and the commercialization of all products.

Neurimmune will pursue additional scientific activities with respect to the lead candidates as well as the discovery of back-up candidates, utilizing its Reverse Translational Medicine technology platform.

Neurimmune also retains the right to use its platform for creating therapeutic antibody products outside the scope of its agreement with Biogen, according to the agreement.

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