CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) and the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center today announced the formation of a strategic alliance focused on enhancing the understanding of the underlying biology of Parkinson's disease (PD) and the creation of novel tools and programs that could accelerate research and the development of new PD treatments. The agreement will combine the unique clinical expertise and data of the Institute with Biogen's focus on neurodegenerative disease and approach to clinical development.
"As we work to tackle some of the most difficult challenges in neurodegenerative disease, we are committed to working with the world's best researchers and institutions," said Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas, Chief Scientific Officer at Biogen. "The Institute sees almost 2,500 Parkinson's patients a year, has one of the largest repositories of patient information, and comprises leading clinicians in the Parkinson's community. Combining their vast resources in PD and our capabilities in research and clinical development, we believe we can make important advances in understanding and ultimately discovering new treatment approaches for this devastating disease."
The multi-year collaboration includes an array of PD-related activities designed to drive advances in basic science and treatment including:
Discovery of gene targets and modifier genes that might serve as novel therapeutic targets
The creation of well-defined patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)
A study of gastrointestinal symptoms related to PD
A search for quantitative and symptom-based trial endpoints
The potential identification of new therapeutic approval pathways
The collaborative effort will be enhanced by rich information from the Institute's Brain and Tissue Knowledge Bank, which contains patient biological samples, profiles, family health histories, and clinical outcomes.
"This is a unique opportunity for a leading biopharmaceutical company and a world-renowned research and clinical care institute to combine forces to make a significant impact on PD," said Carrolee Barlow, CEO Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center. "Biogen is a leader in innovative drug discovery and development, and the Institute is a globally recognized leader in the study and treatment of Parkinson's, from basic science through clinical care. The Institute was founded on a unique model established over 25 years ago, and our collaboration with Biogen will significantly broaden and strengthen our efforts. Together, we anticipate that our work together will lead to innovations that will benefit all individuals living with Parkinson's."
Parkinson's disease is a progressive movement-related disorder of the central nervous system. It is estimated that there are approximately one million Americans living with Parkinson's. Each year, 50,000 new cases are diagnosed, and this rate is expected to rise with the aging population. A clear understanding of Parkinson's and its underlying pathophysiology continues to be elusive as a result of the disease's complexity.
Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen will fund research activities by the Institute and provide strategic insight into research design, data analysis, and program support.
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen discovers, develops and delivers to patients worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hematologic conditions and autoimmune disorders. Founded in 1978, Biogen is one of the world's oldest independent biotechnology companies and patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis and innovative hemophilia therapies. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the company, please visit www.biogen.com.
About the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center
Two and a half decades ago, Dr. J. William Langston and a dedicated group of Parkinson's disease experts set out to create a better way to research and provide care for Parkinson's disease. Patients would become partners in developing their care plans, improving their quality of life, and discovering new strategies to confront and manage their disease. Compassionate care would work hand in hand with cutting-edge research to seek answers, develop new therapies and treatments, and ultimately work toward a cure. The result was the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center—based in Sunnyvale, California—America's only independent non-profit organization combining world-class care, clinical research, laboratory research, and clinical trials for Parkinson's disease under one roof. The Institute focuses on areas including: biomarker discovery and clinical research; translational research on genetic forms of Parkinson's; a world class LRRK2 research and drug discovery program (LRRK2 is the most common cause of familial or inherited Parkinson's disease); stem cell modeling referred to as "Parkinson's disease in a Petri dish"; and clinical trials and research on the non-motor or non-movement related and early features of Parkinson's.
Biogen Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the potential to discover and develop new therapeutics for Parkinson's disease through its collaboration with the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center. These forward-looking statements may be accompanied by such words as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "will" and other words and terms of similar meaning. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements, including risks and uncertainties associated with drug development and commercialization, Biogen's dependence on third parties over which it may not always have full control, and the other risks and uncertainties that are described in the Risk Factors section of Biogen's most recent annual or quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These statements are based on current beliefs and expectations and speak only as of the date of this press release. Biogen does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements.