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Biogen Idec Licenses Neurimmune Nerve-Disorder Drugs

Drugmaker Biogen Idec Inc. has purchased the rights to three neurodegenerative disease programs from Neurimmune Holding AG, which it had been partnering with to develop the drugs, the companies said in a statement today.

Biogen, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will pay Schlieren, Switzerland-based Neurimmune $32.5 million, and up to $395 million more in contingent payments, for three research programs focused on Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“The unmet medical need among patients suffering from devastating neurodegenerative diseases is high,” said Alfred Sandrock, senior vice president of neurology research and development at Biogen. As many as 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The two companies partnered in 2007 to work on Alzheimer’s disease treatments, according to the statement. Biogen will be responsible for commercializing the products and will own the worldwide rights to the drugs, which have not yet entered clinical testing. Neurimmune, a closely held Swiss drug developer, will continue to research other potential treatments.

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