Biogen Inks Deal with MAKScientific - Analyst Blog


Biogen Idec ( BIIB ) recently signed an exclusive, worldwide option and collaboration agreement with privately held MAKScientific, LLC. MAKScientific focuses on the creation of novel and highly effective medications modulating cannabinoid pathways.

The deal relates to the development and commercialization of drug candidates for the treatment of multiple sclerosis ( MS ) and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Terms of the Agreement

Per the terms of the agreement, Biogen has the option to gain an exclusive global license to certain discovery-stage MAKScientific drug candidates for all indications. Once Biogen exercises its option,it will have to pay an exercise fee of up to $3 million to MAKScientific. Biogen will also be liable to pay up to an additional $31 million on the achievement of milestones related to the development of the candidate. Besides this, the company will also pay royalties on net sales worldwide.

With this deal, MAKScientific is gaining a partner with vast experience in the multiple sclerosis market.

Meanwhile, Biogen has been working on consolidating its position in the multiple sclerosis market. The company has an impressive late-stage pipeline of multiple sclerosis drugs including BG-12 (new drug application filed in the US in Feb 2012). Besides BG-12, Biogen is developing other multiple sclerosis candidates like daclizumab, in partnership with Abbott Labs ( ABT ), and PEGylated interferon.

Biogen has also been pretty active on the deal-making/acquisition front so far in 2012. Besides the MAKScientific deal, Biogen has signed other deals in 2012 to expand its early/mid-stage pipeline. In early Jan, the company joined hands with Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( ISIS ) for the development and commercialization of an antisense drug for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy ( SMA ). Biogen also signed a deal to acquire privately-held biotech company, Stromedix, Inc. With this acquisition, Biogen will gain access to treatments being developed for fibrosis and organ failure.

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Biogen, which carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term "Hold" rating).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ABT , BIIB , ISIS , MS , SMA

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