Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) grabbed all the next-day-headlines after officially announcing their exciting phase 1b clinical results in a peer-reviewed journal Nature in September 2016.
To trace back, the encouraging story started in 2007, when Biogen in-licensed a recombinant human antibody from Neurimmune, a spin-off from University of Zurich. Neurimmune generated this antibody from their proprietary Reverse Translational Medicine™ technology platform. The logic of this antibody development was to derive from a de-identified library of B cells collected from healthy elderly subjects with no signs of cognitive impairment or cognitively impaired elderly subjects with unusually slow cognitive decline. In their 2007 agreement, Biogen Idec is responsible for the worldwide development and commercialization of the product. Neurimmune could receive an aggregate of USD 380 million in up-front and success-based milestone payments, as well as a royalty on net sales of any products.
The phase Ib result lighted up the hope for this collaboration: Dose-dependently, amyloid plaque, a protein aggregation hypothesized to be one cause of the disease, was reduced after monthly injection of the antibody. And cognitive decline was arrested in these small scale patients. Right after publishing the clinical research result, Biogen Idec. also announced their receival of fast track designation and their start of two global phase III clinical trials, where more patients with more advanced disease progression will be recruited. The world is desperately waiting for this result to come out at 2020.
Without surprise, Biogen Idec.’s stock climbed right after this series of positive news, even though this biotech giant is in the middle of a turmoil because its well acclaimed CEO Gerorge Scangos is about to leave. And the company has been long considered as a potential acquisition candidate, as its long-term revenue growth is complicated by the slowdown of its main business in multiple sclerosis.