Eisai and Biogen Idec enter Alzheimer's disease collaboration

Will develop and commercialise two clinical candidates from each company

Eisai is to collaborate with Swiss biotechnology company Biogen Idec in the development of two of Eisai’s clinical candidates for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The agreement also provides Eisai with an option to develop two of Biogen Idec’s candidates for AD.

The collaboration will initially focus on Eisai’s E2609, a β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor, and BAN2401, an anti-Aβ antibody. These have the potential to reduce Aβ plaques that form in the brains of patients with AD and to stop the formation of new plaques, potentially improving symptoms and suppressing disease progression.

Eisai will pursue marketing authorisations for both compounds worldwide. In major markets, such as the US and the EU, the partners will also co-promote the products following marketing approval. Both companies will share overall costs, including research and development expenses, with Eisai booking all sales for E2609 and BAN2401 and with profits to be split between the companies.

This collaboration is a natural fit with our mission to develop therapies for patients with severe neurodegenerative diseases

Biogen Idec will provide Eisai with an upfront payment and a fixed amount of development, approval and commercial milestone payments. The agreement also includes options for Eisai to receive an additional one-time payment from Biogen Idec related to joint development and commercialisation activities in Japan.

No financial details have been released.

'This collaboration is a natural fit with our mission to develop therapies for patients with severe neurodegenerative diseases. Eisai’s candidates have demonstrated compelling early data and complement our AD research while extending our pipeline in this critical area,' said George Scangos, Chief Executive of Biogen Idec.

Eisai's President & CEO Haruo Naito added: 'There exists an urgent need to develop AD therapies that suppress disease progression in order to effectively alleviate both the emotional burden of suffering and uncertainty experienced by patients and their families, as well as the financial burden on overall society in terms of the huge costs of nursing and patient care.

'Through our collaboration with Biogen Idec, I believe we will be able to enhance further our existing R&D capacities for developing next-generation AD treatments, thereby accelerating the development of promising therapies and increasing the benefits provided to patients with AD worldwide.'

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