Biogen, Genentech Revamp Alliance
Weston, MA-based Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) and South San Francisco-based Genentech said today they are restructuring an alliance to co-develop new antibodies against CD20, the same cellular target of the hit cancer drug rituximab (Rituxan). Under the amended partnership, Genentech will pay the full costs of developing ocrelizumab for multiple sclerosis, and keep most of the profits while Biogen Idec will get royalties roughly equal to its current 30 percent interest in the drug. Biogen Idec has also agreed to pay $10 million to Genentech, and increase its share of development costs from 30 percent to 35 percent for the development of GA-101, another anti-CD20 antibody in development for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Once GA-101 hits certain sales targets, then Biogen Idec’s share of profits from Rituxan will drop from 4o percent to 35 percent, the companies said.