Anti-tau investigational therapy
On April 13, 2017, Biogen (BIIB) announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) to obtain exclusive global rights related to the development and commercialization of Phase 2 ready investigational therapy BMS-986168. The deal is expected to close in 2Q17. Biogen has agreed to pay Bristol-Myers Squibb around $300.0 million as an upfront payment and an additional $410.0 million as milestone payments and royalties.
In its Phase 1 study, BMS-986168 demonstrated a favorable risk benefit profile by lowering tau protein in cerebrospinal fluid. This tau forms deposits or tangles in the brain, which is considered a key driver of neurodegenerative disorders. Biogen plans to evaluate the potential of this experimental anti-tau therapy in Alzheimer’s disease and PSP (progressive supranuclear palsy).
If BMS-986168 demonstrates its potential as an Alzheimer’s disease therapy, it will have a positive impact on Biogen stock as well as the iShares Russell 1000 Growth (IWF). Biogen makes up about 0.56% of IWF’s total portfolio holdings.
Alzheimer’s disease portfolio
In addition to its newly acquired anti-tau therapy, Biogen is also evaluating the anti-tau human monoclonal antibody BIIB076 in its Alzheimer’s disease segment. Currently in a Phase 1 trial, this investigational therapy was invented using Neurimmune’s reverse translational medicine platform.
Biogen is also progressing with the enrollment of subjects in the Phase 3 trials ENGAGE and EMERGE, which will evaluate the potential of aducanumab, a beta-amyloid targeting investigational therapy. The company expects to complete 50.0% of the enrollment for these trials by mid-May 2017. To know more about Biogen’s aducanumab research efforts, please refer to Alzheimer’s Research Is Still Key Driver of Biogen’s Valuations