Biogen inks $1B+ deal with Denali for Parkinson’s treatment

Cambridge, Mass.-based drugmaker Biogen struck a more than $1 billion deal with South San Francisco-based biotech company Denali Aug. 6 to co-develop and co-commercialize small molecule inhibitors to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Biogen bought rights to Denali’s small molecule inhibitors of LRRK2, which the drugmakers will employ to develop treatments for Parkinson’s and other movement disorders. This approach was nearly deserted by drugmakers but has recently reemerged as a potentially valuable technique, according to STAT.

“Denali’s LRRK2 program is highly complementary to our existing Parkinson’s disease pipeline and its successful development would enhance Biogen’s portfolio of medicines for treating serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases,” Michel Vounatsos, Biogen’s CEO, said in a new release.

Biogen will pay Denali $560 million and will purchase $465 million worth of stock in the company, amounting to 11.2 percent ownership of its outstanding shares. If the co-developed Parkinson’s drugs prove commercially successful, Denali could be paid up to $1.125 billion more. The agreement also includes rights to Denali’s technology platform that delivers medicines to the brain.

Cost and profits will be split evenly between the two drugmakers for domestic activities, and Biogen will take 60 percent of profits in China. Elsewhere, Biogen will pay for 60 percent of development and Denali will receive royalties.

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