Licensee: Biogen idec
Deal size: $271 million
Upfront: $12 million
Milestones: $59 million plus up to $200 million in regulatory and licensing fees
When: June 29
What: Biogen's ($BIIB) second turn at a deal this year with Isis is once again focused on a rare disease program, this time for myotonic dystrophy Type 1, a genetic neuromuscular ailment sometimes called Steinert disease. DM1 is an inherited disease, and each generation it's passed down increases the severity of the disease. It starts with a defect in the DMPK gene, which initiates a cascade of reactions that shuts down the production of proteins which causes severe muscle spasms, muscle wasting and weakness. Using its antisense know-how, Isis believes it can interrupt the process at a critical stage, stopping the cascade that triggers severe symptoms among 150,000 patients in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.