Biogen Idec is shelling out $32.5 million up front to acquire a subsidiary of Neurimmune that is working on three preclinical neurodegenerative disease antibody programs targeting alpha-synuclein, tau, and TDP-43. The acquisition builds on a previous collaboration between the companies, signed in 2007, centered on human antibodies against the Alzheimer disease target beta-amyloid. The three new programs will add potential antibody candidates against Parkinson disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AML) to the pipeline.
Under terms of the new acquisition deal Biogen Idec will carry out development of the preclinical candidates and all product commercialization. Neurimmune will carry out additional scientific work both with respect to the existing lead candidates and for the discovery of back-up molecules, using its Reverse Translational Medicine™ (RTM) platform. It could earn another $395 million in contingent payments, and retains the rights to use the platform for generating therapeutic antibodies outside the scope of its deal with Biogen Idec.
“Neurimmune continues to impress us with their ability to translate scientific insights into innovative antibodies for the potential treatment and prevention of many neurodegenerative diseases,” remarks Alfred Sandrock, M.D., svp neurology R&D at Biogen Idec.
Switzerland-based Neurimmune is focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of antibodies derived from human populations with unusual capacity to successfully fight a severe disease. It claims the RTM platform provides a resource for the rapid identification of human antibodies that do not require further optimization and can be channeled directly into the company’s drug discovery pipeline.