News Feature | March 10, 2014

Eisai And Biogen Idec Collaborate Over Alzheimer's Disease Drugs

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By Estel Grace Masangkay

Eisai Co., Ltd. and Biogen Idec announced that the companies have entered into collaboration to develop and market two of Eisai’s candidates for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), E2609 and BAN2401.

E2609 is a β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor while BAN2401 is an anti-Aβ antibody. Both candidates possess the potential to reduce and stop new formation of Aβ plaques often found in the brains of patients with AD. Decreased Aβ proteins in the brain are associated with potential improvement of symptoms and slowing down of disease progression.

George A. Scangos, Chief Executive Officer of Biogen Idec, said, “This collaboration is a natural fit with our mission to develop therapies for patients with severe neurodegenerative diseases. Eisai’s candidates have demonstrated compelling early data and complement our AD research while extending our pipeline in this critical area. Eisai is a pioneer in successfully developing and commercializing AD treatments. This history, combined with their strong scientific heritage, geographical reach and unwavering commitment to the AD community, makes Eisai an excellent collaboration partner to help drive our mission.”

The companies will co-promote the products in the U.S. and European Union after marketing approval. Eisai will take operational and regulatory lead in the co-development of both compounds, but the companies will share overall costs including research and development expenses. Eisai will book all sales for both drug candidates with profits split between the two companies.

Haruo Naito, Eisai President and CEO, said, “Eisai remains deeply focused on the development of such therapies based on the knowledge and experience it has accumulated through its development of the anti-AD agent Aricept. Through our collaboration with Biogen Idec, a company that specializes in neurodegenerative diseases, I believe we will be able to further enhance our existing R&D capacities for developing next-generation AD treatments, thereby accelerating the development of promising therapies and increasing the benefits provided to patients with AD worldwide.”

The agreement will provide Eisai with the option to jointly develop and market Biogen Idec’s AD drug candidates anti-amyloid beta (Aβ) antibody BIIB037 and an anti-tau monoclonal antibody.