CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and WALTHAM, Mass., Jan. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Biogen Inc (Nasdaq: BIIB) and Skyhawk Therapeutics, Inc. (Skyhawk) today announced a strategic collaboration in which the companies will leverage Skyhawk’s SkySTAR™ technology platform with the goal of discovering innovative small molecule treatments for patients with neurological diseases. Biogen will have the option to license therapies resulting from the collaboration and will be responsible for their development and potential commercialization.
The agreement grants Biogen an exclusive license to worldwide intellectual property rights on research-stage therapeutic candidates for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and additional neurological disorders. As part of the agreement, Skyhawk received an upfront payment of $74 million from Biogen and may receive potential future milestone payments and royalties. A portion of the upfront payment will be allocated to future research services, with the remainder expensed in the first quarter of 2019 as research and development.
“Skyhawk’s platform offers a powerful approach to target neurological conditions using selective RNA-modulating small molecules, creating exciting possibilities for potential new therapies,” said Michael Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, research and development at Biogen. “This collaboration exemplifies Biogen’s commitment to joining forces with innovative companies with the goal of improving the lives of patients living with neurological diseases.”
“Biogen is a leading neuro-focused biopharmaceutical company with a compelling history of drug development across a range of challenging neurological conditions,” said Bill Haney, co-founder and chief executive officer of Skyhawk. “Their strong scientific culture has already produced a series of leading global therapeutics. We look forward to working with their team with the goal of potentially enhancing the treatment options we could bring to the neuroscience community.”
About BiogenAt Biogen, our mission is clear: we are pioneers in neuroscience. Biogen discovers, develops and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. One of the world’s first global biotechnology companies, Biogen was founded in 1978 by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray and Nobel Prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp, and today has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis, has introduced the first and only approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy and is focused on advancing neuroscience research programs in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology, movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders, pain, ophthalmology, neuropsychiatry and acute neurology. Biogen also manufactures and commercializes biosimilars of advanced biologics.
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About Skyhawk Therapeutics
Skyhawk Therapeutics is committed to discovering, developing and commercializing therapies that use its novel SkySTAR™ (Skyhawk Small molecule Therapeutics for Alternative splicing of RNA) platform to build small molecule drugs that bring breakthrough treatments to patients.