NEW YORK (AP) — Biogen Idec Inc. is expanding a
partnership with Neurimmune Holding AG, and will research treatments for
illnesses like Parkinson’s disease under a deal that could be worth more than
Biogen Idec said the companies will research potential treatments for
neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, and
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular disease also known as Lou
Gehrig’s Disease. The Weston, Mass., company will pay Neurimmune $32.5 million
upfront, and the deal includes as much as $395 million in additional payments.
The drug candidates included in the deal are in preclinical testing and have not
been studied in humans.
Biogen will be responsible for testing the drugs, and will handle sales if
the products are approved. Neurimmune, which is based in Switzerland, will be
responsible for other scientific activities and discovery of potential backup
products. The companies have worked together since 2007.
Biogen’s products include the multiple sclerosis drugs Tysabri and Avonex,
and the cancer drug Rituxan. The company sells Tysabri through a partnership
with Elan Corp. PLC, and it markets Rituxan with Roche AG.