Biogen, Ionis Pharmaceuticals expand drug development collaboration
Biogen (BIIB) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) announced they have expanded their strategic collaboration through a new ten-year collaboration agreement to develop novel antisense drug candidates for a broad range of neurological diseases.
This collaboration capitalizes on Biogen’s expertise in neuroscience research and drug development and Ionis’ leadership in RNA targeted therapies with the goal of developing a broad pipeline of investigational therapies.
It builds upon a productive collaboration that produced SPINRAZA, the first and only approved treatment for patients with spinal muscular atrophy.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Biogen will pay Ionis $1B in cash, which will include $625M to purchase 11,501,153 shares of Ionis common stock at a price of $54.34 per share, at an approximately 25% cash premium, and a $375M upfront payment.
Biogen will have the option to license therapies arising out of this collaboration and will be responsible for their development and commercialization.
In addition, Biogen may pay milestone payments, license fees and royalties on net sales.
The companies plan to advance programs for a broad range of neurological diseases for which few treatment options exist today.
Disease areas include dementia, neuromuscular diseases, movement disorders, ophthalmology, diseases of the inner ear, and neuropsychiatry.
Biogen will have the first choice of neurology targets on which to exclusively collaborate with Ionis.
In this collaboration, Ionis will be responsible for the identification of antisense drug candidates based on selected targets, while Biogen will be responsible for and pay for non-clinical studies, clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization. Biogen and Ionis expect the deal to close in the second quarter of 2018.
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