Biogen and Elan to Collaborate on
Development Of Antegren(R)
Biogen, Inc. (Nasdaq: BGEN) and Elan Corporation
PLC (NYSE: ELN) today
announced a worldwide, exclusive collaboration to develop,
manufacture, and commercialize Antegren(R) (natalizumab),
a humanized monoclonal antibody currently nearing completion of
Phase 2 clinical testing for multiple sclerosis (MS) and Crohn's disease.
Antegren represents the first of a new class of agents that has
potential uses in a variety of diseases.
James C. Mullen, Biogen's President and Chief
Executive Officer, said, "We see Antegren as an important
opportunity for several reasons. First, it is an exciting,
late-stage product with blockbuster potential in a variety of
diseases. Used alone or
in combination, Antegren will allow us to offer more solutions to a
broader range of MS patients than are available at the present time.
And third, both Biogen and
Elan are pioneers in VLA-4 biology and the research,
development, and marketing synergies between the companies should
help us speed the
process of bringing this drug to patients."
Donal J. Geaney, Elan's Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer, said, "We are delighted to have concluded
arrangements with Biogen to collaborate in the development, manufacture,
and eventual commercialization of Antegren. We believe that the
technology and skills available from the two combined companies will
be highly synergistic in the challenges of completing the
development and successful introduction of this truly important
Antegren, discovered and developed by Elan as
part of its focus on neurological diseases, is a humanized
monoclonal antibody and the first in a new class of potential
therapeutics known as alpha 4 integrin inhibitors that are designed to block cell
adhesion to blood vessel walls and subsequent migration of white
blood cells into tissue. Antegren binds to the cell surface receptors known as
alpha-4-beta-1 (VLA-4) and alpha-4-beta-7. These receptors are found on most
types of white blood cells. Antegren may be useful in the treatment
of a range of inflammatory and non-inflammatory diseases.
Antegren demonstrated promising results in Phase
2 studies in MS reported
during 1999 and encouraging data in separate trials with
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients.
18 August 2000