Biogen Idec, Eisai enter deal for Alzheimer's disease therapies

Biogen Idec gained rights to develop and commercialise Eisai's experimental drugs E2609 and BAN2401 for Alzheimer's disease, the companies announced Wednesday. "This collaboration is a natural fit," remarked Biogen Idec CEO George A. Scangos, adding that the two compounds "have demonstrated compelling early data and complement our [Alzheimer’s disease] research while extending our pipeline in this critical area."

Under the agreed terms, Biogen Idec will make an upfront payment to Eisai as well as a fixed amount of milestone payments, while the deal also includes options for the Japanese drugmaker to receive a one-time payment related to joint development and marketing activities in Japan. The companies noted that Eisai will lead operational and regulatory efforts for E2609 and BAN2401, with overall costs, including R&D expenses, being shared. In markets such as the US and Europe, Eisai and Biogen Idec will co-promote the products, if approved, with the companies splitting all profits.

Eisai's oral drug E2609 is believed to inhibit BACE, while the humanised monoclonal antibody BAN2401, which was developed via an alliance with BioArctic Neuroscience, is thought to selectively bind to, neutralise and eliminate soluble, toxic amyloid beta. E2609 is currently being prepared for mid-stage development, with Phase II studies of BAN2401 ongoing.

Biogen Idec and Eisai noted that the deal also provides the Japanese company with an option to jointly develop and commercialise two of Biogen Idec's candidates for Alzheimer’s disease, the anti-amyloid beta antibody BIIB037 and an anti-tau monoclonal antibody. Further financial details weren't revealed.

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