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Biogen (BIIB) Decides to Acquire Phase II Stroke Candidate

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Biogen, Inc. (BIIB - Free Report) announced that it has exercised its option with private biotech, TMS Co., Ltd. to acquire the latter’s phase II acute ischemic stroke candidate TMS-007. We remind investors that Biogen had signed the option deal with TMS in June last year.

The decision to acquire TMS-007 was based on positive data from a phase IIa study. The study met its primary endpoint and demonstrated TMS-007’s positive impacts on blood vessel reopening and patient functional recovery with no incidence of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH).

sICH is a major complication of thrombolytic agent, which is presently approved for treating acute ischemic stroke caused by a blockage of blood supply to the brain. The use of thrombolytics for treating acute ischemic stroke is limited due to the increased risks of bleeding. There is significant unmet medical need for new therapies that can both improve clinical outcomes as well as extend the time after stroke onset so that a patient can be given  thrombolytic  treatment. TMS-007 is designed to restore blood flow following acute stroke and has shown the potential to provide an extended treatment window compared to currently approved thrombolytic agents.

For acquiring TMS-007, Biogen will make a one-time payment of $18 million to TMS with up to $335 million payable as potential milestone payments. Going forward, Biogen will be responsible for the development and commercialization of TMS-007.

With this acquisition, Biogen aims to boost its acute neurology portfolio, a strategic move for the company’s growth. Biogen is trying to diversify its pipeline and aims to be a leader in neuroscience and the adjacent therapeutic area.  In almost four years from 2017-2020, Biogen executed 20 business development transactions, which significantly boosted its pipeline.

Among some recent deals, Biogen signed a collaboration with Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO - Free Report) in 2020 to make gene regulation therapies for a range of neurological indications including Alzheimer's disease. It also collaborated with Denali Therapeutics (DNLI - Free Report) in August 2020 to co-develop and co-commercialize the latter’s small molecule LRRK2 inhibitor program, DNL151, for Parkinson’s disease, which will enter late-stage development in 2021.In November 2020, Biogen signed a collaboration with Sage Therapeutics (SAGE - Free Report) , which added a late-stage program (zuranolone) in depression and movement disorders.

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