Biogen Idec announces first company to join its biologics program

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Biogen Idec announced Thursday that Escoublac would be the first company to join its Innovation Incubator. The incubator is a new program designed to add to Biogen’s pipeline by offering entrepreneurial scientists the opportunity to quickly convert their new ideas for biologics into a drug therapy.

Escoublac is based on the idea of a link between bone biology and metabolism. The idea is that the hormone osteocalcin is involved in regulating insulin and fat storage in the body, which could translate into new treatments for such metabolic diseases as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Biogen will offer the company the funding to make those drug candidates the companies offered in concept. It will also offer the company the facility and the ability to work with Biogen’s drug discovery technology to help further its own drug candidate.

“It’s this combination of components that makes the bi3 or Innovation Incubator model quite unique,” said Rainer Fuchs, Biogen Idec vice president and executive director of bi3. “For each company’s founder, it’s an opportunity to advance the science beyond what the academic environment allows. For us, it’s an opportunity to get involved in innovative and exciting science that complements our internal research and development efforts and potentially adds product candidates to our pipeline.” The goal of the program is to turn the candidates into development within two-to-three years.

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