Eisai, Biogen Idec begin collaboration on Alzheimer's compounds

The companies will develop and commercialize two clinical candidates from Eisai

Kelsey Kaustinen
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TOKYO and CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Eisai Co. Ltd. and Biogen Idec have announced the launch of a collaboration for the development and commercialization of two of Eisai’s clinical candidates for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: E2609, a ß-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor, and BAN2401, an anti-Aß antibody. Both candidates have the potential to reduce the amyloid beta plaques that develop in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients and stop the formation of new plaques.
“This collaboration is a natural fit with our mission to develop therapies for patients with severe neurodegenerative diseases,” George A. Scangos, Ph.D., CEO of Biogen Idec, said in a press release. “Eisai’s candidates have demonstrated compelling early data and complement out AD research while extending our pipeline in this critical area. Eisai is a pioneer in successfully developing and commercializing AD treatments. This history, combined with their strong scientific heritage, geographical reach and unwavering commitment to the AD community, makes Eisai an excellent collaboration partner to help drive our mission.”
Per the terms of the agreement, Biogen Idec will pay Eisai an upfront payment as well as a set amount of development, approval and commercial milestone payments. In addition, Eisai will also have an option to jointly develop and commercialize two of Biogen Idec’s candidates for Alzheimer’s disease: the anti-amyloid beta antibody BIIB037—a human monoclonal antibody licensed from Neurimmune and believed to bind to and eliminate amyloid plaques—and an anti-tau monoclonal antibody. Eisai will also have an option to receive a one-time payment from Biogen Idec related to joint development and commercialization activities in Japan.
Eisai will be the operational and regulatory lead as the companies co-develop E2609 and BAN2401, and will be responsible for securing marketing authorizations for both compounds worldwide. In major markets such as the United States and the European Union, Eisai and Biogen Idec will co-promote the products once they have received marketing approval. The partners will share overall costs and research and development expenses, with Eisai booking all sales for the companies and profits split between Eisai and Biogen Idec.
“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,” Haruo Naito, president and CEO of Eisai, commented in a statement. “Eisai remains deeply focused on the development of such therapies based on the knowledge and experience it has accumulated through its development of the anti-AD agent Aricept. Through our collaboration with Biogen Idec, a company that specializes in neurodegenerative diseases, I believe we will be able to further enhance 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.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, which was estimated to cost the country $203 billion in 2013, a number that is expected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2050. Alzheimer’s Disease International estimates that approximately 36 million people have Alzheimer’s disease (or a related dementia) worldwide.
SOURCE: Biogen Idec press release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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