LUCERNE, Switzerland—Biogen Idec and Fumapharm AG, a privately held pharmaceutical company, in late spring announced a definitive agreement whereby Fumapharm will be acquired by Biogen Idec.
Founded in Switzerland in 1983, Fumapharm develops therapeutics derived from fumaric acid esters for patients with high unmet medical need. The company has two products: FUMADERM, a commercial product available in Germany for the treatment of psoriasis, and BG-12, a clinical-stage product that has been jointly developed with Biogen Idec. BG-12, an oral fumarate, is being studied for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and psoriasis.
"This acquisition supports our goal of developing innovative therapeutic options for people living with MS," says James C. Mullen, Biogen Idec's president and CEO in a press release announcing the planned acquisition. "We look forward to continuing the development of BG-12, a promising oral compound in MS, as well as expanding our European operations by working with Fumapharm's existing partners to provide FUMADERM to psoriasis patients in Germany."
In conjunction with the acquisition announcement, Biogen Idec and Fumapharm announced positive results from a Phase II study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of BG-12 in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. The study achieved its primary endpoint, demonstrating that treatment with BG-12 led to a statistically significant reduction in the total number of gadolinium-enhancing brain lesions as measured by MRI with six months of treatment versus placebo.
"Biogen Idec is perfectly positioned to continue the development of BG-12 because of its global commercial and regulatory experience and unsurpassed expertise in MS. We are proud of the work that Fumapharm has accomplished in the last 20 years and are confident that Biogen Idec will continue our legacy of helping patients," says Dr. Hans Peter Strebel, chairman and CEO of Fumapharm.