Biogen Idec and Isis Pharmaceuticals have entered into an exclusive, worldwide option and collaboration agreement under which the companies will develop and commercialize an antisense drug for the treatment of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1).
Isis will receive an upfront payment of $12 million and is responsible for the discovery of a lead antisense drug candidate targeting DMPK through Phase II. Isis is eligible to receive as much as $59 million in development milestones prior to licensing. Biogen has the option to license the drug through the completion of the Phase II trial. Isis could receive another $200 million in a license fee and regulatory milestone payments as well as royalties on sales.
Steven H. Holtzman, executive vice president of corporate development at Biogen Idec, said, “The unmet need is great, and there are currently no therapies to slow or stop progression of the disease. Myotonic dystrophy has an identifiable genetic cause, the program fits with our mission to bring innovative therapies to patients with serious neurologic diseases, and Isis’ antisense compound has the potential to make a real difference. This collaboration, which is our second with Isis, reflects the tremendous respect we have for their scientific leadership and expertise in antisense technology.”
B. Lynne Parshall, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and secretary at Isis, said, “This collaboration allows us to expand our pipeline of drugs for rare and severe diseases with Biogen Idec’s additional Resources and support. It also complements our new alliance with Biogen Idec for our Phase I program in spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA. Biogen Idec is an ideal partner for these programs with its expertise in neurodegenerative disease and global reach to help bring these therapies successfully to patients who have no treatment options.”