Biovail Corp. has agreed to pay up to US$65 million plus royalties in return for the U.S. and Canadian rights to a new drug treatment for Parkinson’s disease, a potentially debilitating neurological disorder.
A subsidiary of the Toronto-area drug company has paid a US$10 million up-front fee to Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd., a Japanese biopharmaceutical developer, under a licensing agreement announced Thursday.
Biovail Laboratories International SRL could also spend up to $55 million in milestone payments — up to $20 million if certain development milestones are met and up to $35 million of sales-based milestones are achieved.
BLS will also make royalty payments on commercial sales of products containing istradefylline, new chemical entity targeted for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder which is characterized by motor symptoms such as slowness of movement, rigidity, tremor and postural instability.
One of the most well-known victims of Parkinson’s is the Canadian born actor Michael J. Fox, who has set up a foundation to help promote research and education in that area.
The disease results from the progressive degeneration of certain nerve cells located in a specific area in the brain leading to a shortage of the neurotransmitter dopamine.