Issue Date: January 9, 2012
Biogen, Isis Pursue Muscle Disease Drug
The biotech firm Biogen Idec has obtained an option to license an Isis Pharmaceuticals investigational drug intended to treat spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that affects one out of 10,000 children worldwide. Children with SMA have a defect in the survival motor neuron 1 gene. The drug, an antisense compound called ISIS-SMNRx, works by altering the splicing of a related gene to increase production of survival motor neuron protein. Isis will receive an up-front fee of $29 million and could get $45 million in milestone payments associated with development of the drug. Isis could also receive a $225 million licensing fee and further milestone payments.
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