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Mind melding

How Novartis and Amgen crafted a multi-asset swap to spread risk in neurology

Novartis AG's third neuroscience deal of the summer checks two boxes for the pharma by sharing the risk for a BACE inhibitor program and adding another late-stage program in neurology, all without increasing the pharma's neurology R&D spend. It also completes the company's quest to set itself up with a steady stream of neurology launches over the next four years.

On Sept. 1, Novartis and Amgen Inc. agreed to combine portfolios of beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitors for Alzheimer's disease with Novartis' CNP520 as lead molecule. Novartis also will receive global co-development rights and commercial rights outside of the U.S., Canada and Japan to two Amgen migraine compounds. The lead is AMG 334, a human mAb inhibiting the receptor for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) that is in Phase III testing to prevent migraine.

Novartis also received an option to commercialize an undisclosed third candidate.

In AD, Amgen will pay the lion's share of R&D costs for an undisclosed time period, and then the partners will share costs and profits equally. Novartis will receive an upfront payment and be eligible for milestones.

Novartis will pay a larger share of global R&D costs for the migraine programs for an undisclosed time, and Amgen will be eligible for double-digit royalties.

Novartis said the deal allows it to spread the same amount of

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