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Biogen Idec Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Knopp Neurosciences Inc. in which Biogen will gain exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Knopp’s treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The deal calls for Biogen to oay $20 million in upfront payments, buy $60 million worth of Knopp stock and make payments of up to $265 million, based on milestone achievements.

The drug, KNS-760704 (dexpramipexole), has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and orphan drug designation from both the FDA and the European Commission for patients with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Biogen CEO George Scangos noted in a press release today that the company plans to move the drug forward through Phase 3 clinical trials, beginning in 2011. The Phase 2 study of KNS-760704 returned generally positive results in which the most serious side effects discovered were fall, nausea and joint pain.

Knopp Neurosciences is a biotechnology firm focused on treatments of neurological disorders.

Earlier this month, Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB), which has its headquarters in Weston, was hit with a lawsuit from a Nebraska man, who alleged that Biogen and its West Coast partner Genenetech Inc. did not properly advise patients of the risks associated with its drug, Rituxan.

 

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