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Biogen buys rights to experimental Alzheimer drugs

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(Bloomberg) — Biogen Idec Inc., a maker of multiple sclerosis drugs, has acquired the rights to experimental Alzheimer’s disease treatments from Eisai Co.

Biogen will pay Eisai some cash up front, and more later if the drugs — E2609 and BAN2401 — reach the approval and commercialization stages, the companies said today in a statement, without giving financial details.

The drugmakers have agreed to share development expenses, the companies said.

Eisai — the Japanese company that developed Aricept, an Alzheimer’s treatment that’s already on the market — will be in charge of developing the drugs and pursuing regulatory approvals.

If the drugs reach the market, Eisai and Biogen will split responsibility for sales and also split any profits.

The agreement includes an option for Eisai to jointly develop and sell two of Biogen’s experimental antibodies for Alzheimer’s disease.

George Scangos, chief executive officer at Biogen, said Eisai’s drug candidates have looked good in early tests and will complement Biogen’s own Alzheimer’s research efforts.

–Editors: Suresh Seshadri, Subramaniam Sharma.

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