Biogen scoops up CNS programs in $427M acquisition deal

After three years of partnering with Switzerland's Neurimmune Therapeutics on antibody discovery programs targeting the CNS field, Biogen Idec ($BIIB) has opted to seal their deal with a pact to acquire one of its subsidiaries outright for up to $427.5 million. The package kicks off with a $32.5 million upfront and follows with up to $395 million in milestones in exchange for worldwide rights to three pre-clinical programs.

The Boston biotech, now helmed by George Scangos, has scooped up a trio of therapies that could have a future in the fight against diseases like Alzheimer's, ALS and Parkinson's. In its release, Biogen notes that the three pre-clinical candidates complement the existing research collaboration by targeting three different neurotoxic proteins--alpha-synuclein, tau and TDP-43--the mis-folding of which is thought to be the cause of many neurodegenerative diseases.

"Biogen Idec is committed to becoming the global leader in the development of innovative therapies for neurodegenerative diseases," said Alfred Sandrock, senior vice president, neurology research and development, Biogen.

Shortly after taking over Biogen this past summer, Scangos has moved quickly to shake up the big biotech's R&D ops, determined to move new products toward an approval.

- here's the Biogen release