- Biogen has inked neurology disease deals with privately-owned companies C4 Therapeutics and Skyhawk Therapeutics. The market seems to approve, with the biotech's stock closing up nearly 4% on Friday.
- The collaboration with Skyhawk gets the smaller company $74 million upfront in return for use of Skyhawk’s SkySTAR technology platform to find small molecule treatments for patients with neurological disease. Skyhawk will also receive milestone payments and royalties if things go as planned.
- The C4 Therapeutics strategic collaboration, which will use its novel protein degradation platform to discover candidates for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, could be worth up to $415 million in upfront and milestone payments, with potential royalties on top.
Biogen's primary focus in neurology is multiple sclerosis, where the company has a portfolio of approved drugs. Its clinical pipeline is dominated by Alzheimer's disease drugs but also encompasses a range of other neurological disorders. The two new deals will fit in, building up the earlier stages of the company's pipeline across some of its key therapeutic areas.
The Skyhawk deal, which covers multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and additional neurological disorders, gives Biogen the option to license, develop and commercialize selective RNA-modulating small molecule therapies resulting from the collaboration.
The C4 deal, with its focus on Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, combines the C4's targeted protein degradation technology with Biogen's neuroscience and drug development capabilities. The two companies will jointly assess potential targets, and then Biogen will advance candidates into development and commercialization.
Deals in neurology had been expected by some on Wall Street.
The primary focus for Biogen investors is their Alzheimer's drug aducanumab, being assessed in the Phase 3 ENGAGE and EMERGE studies in collaboration with Neurimmune. There is also interest in Biogen's BAN2401, which somewhat unexpectedly showed positive results in a study reported in July, six months after not meeting its primary endpoint.