Biogen Idec (BIIB) inked a deal with Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. ISIS +4.84% to discover and develop antisense drugs against three undisclosed targets to treat neurological or neuromuscular disorders that could see Isis receive over $230 million.
The deal is the third collaboration between the drug companies.
Shares of Isis rose 5.4% to $9.47 in recent premarket trading, while those of Biogen were inactive. Isis shares have risen 26% in the past year, while Biogen’s have climbed 34%.
“Our latest collaboration with Isis to discover and develop novel targets for the treatment of neurological disorders is a perfect fit within our early-stage research strategy,” said Richard Brudnick, vice president and co-head of business development at Biogen. “By combining Isis’ knowledge with Biogen Idec’s expertise as a leader in neurology, we believe this latest discovery collaboration holds great potential for finding novel approaches to treating neurologic diseases.”
Under the terms of the latest agreement, Isis will receive an upfront payment of $30 million and is responsible for the discovery of a lead antisense drug for each of the three undisclosed targets
Biogen and Isis are also developing antisense drugs to treat spinal muscular atrophy and myotonic dystrophy type 1 under previously established collaborations.
Isis is also eligible to receive substantial development milestone payments prior to the exercise by Biogen of its option to license each program. Biogen has the option to license a drug from each of the three programs through the completion of Phase 2 trials. If Biogen exercises its option, it will assume global development, regulatory and commercialization responsibilities.
Isis will receive double-digit royalties on sales of drugs, and could receive up to another $200 million in a license fee and regulatory milestone payments per program. In addition Isis will be responsible for development of the drugs through the completion of the initial Phase 2 clinical trial, with Biogen providing advice and assistance.
In June, Biogen and Isis said they had entered into an agreement to develop and commercialize an antisense drug to treat Steinert disease, a deal that could see Isis receive more than $271 million. And prior to that, in January, Isis entered into a collaboration agreement with Biogen with a potential value of $299 million to develop and commercialize the drug developer’s investigational treatment for spinal muscular atrophy.
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