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.
In pact with Oncolys, Bristol-Myers Squibb snags rights to investigational HIV compound
NEW YORK and TOKYO — Bristol-Myers Squibb has signed a definitive licensing pact with Oncolys BioPharma, a privately held Japanese biotech company, that will give it control of a promising new HIV treatment.
Under terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture, develop and market festinavir, a once-a-day, orally available nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor in phase-2 development for HIV. The deal could provide as much as $286 million in upfront, development, regulatory and sales milestone payments to Oncolys, as well as potential royalties on worldwide sales of festinavir.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb has been dedicated to helping patients prevail over HIV for more than two decades and is committed to the ongoing discovery, development and delivery of medicines to fight HIV/AIDS globally,” said Brian Daniels, SVP development. “The profile of festinavir offers the possibility of improvement in the safety of long-term HIV treatment, an area of significant unmet medical need.”
Oncolys president and CEO Yasuo Urata expressed high hopes for the medicine.
“For many years I have been working for the development of medicines in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and I’m convinced that festinavir has the possibility to be a potent and effective NRTI with a promising resistance profile,” Urata said. “Also, festinavir’s once-daily dosage is essential for treating HIV patients worldwide.”
Early preclinical studies suggested that festinavir, which was licensed to Oncolys in 2006 from Yale University, “could have an improved safety profile over previous generations of NRTIs,” both companies noted in a joint statement.
Abbott, EpiTherapeutics ink 3-year licensing agreement
ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Abbott has made a pact with a biopharmaceutical company to develop new cancer treatments by making small-molecule inhibitors.
Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott will provide EpiTherapeutics with an up-front payment and will receive funding of research activities conducted at EpiTherapeutics. The biopharmaceutical company also is eligible, under certain conditions, to receive milestone payments as well as potential royalties on future revenues.
"Abbott’s oncology research is focused on the discovery and development of targeted, less toxic therapies that work against the processes cancers need to survive," said James Sullivan, pharmaceuticals discovery VP at Abbott. "The varied nature of the cancer requires a diverse approach looking at multiple disease targets in different tumor types and we look forward to working with EpiTherapeutics to accelerate our development of new anti-cancer drugs."