ARTICLE | Company News

Biogen gains MS candidate from Alkermes

November 28, 2017 12:25 AM UTC

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) obtained an exclusive, worldwide license to commercialize multiple sclerosis candidate ALKS 8700 from Alkermes plc (NASDAQ:ALKS), removing a potential competitor to Biogen’s blockbuster MS drug Tecfidera dimethyl fumarate and potentially extending the patent life of the company’s MS franchise into the 2030s.

ALKS 8700, a small molecule prodrug of monomethyl fumarate (MMF), uses a similar underlying mechanism as Tecfidera, while aiming to reduce gastrointestinal side effects that have been associated with discontinuation of Tecfidera. Initial data from the open-label Phase III EVOLVE-MS-1 trial of ALKS 8700 to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) showed that the compound led to a 0.5% rate of discontinuations due to GI adverse events. Tecfidera's U.S. label reports a 4% discontinuation rate due to GI events. Initial data from the Phase III EVOLVE-MS-2 trial comparing GI tolerability of ALKS 8700 to Tecfidera are expected in 1H18...