Forward Pharma Stock Skyrockets 53% On $1.25 Bln Cash Licensing Agreement With Biogen

By Emma Court Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Biogen Inc. said Tuesday morning that it had agreed to pay $1.25 billion in cash to license all of Forward Pharma's intellectual property, sending Forward Pharma shares skyrocketing 52.6% in pre-market trade. The two companies have been in a patent dispute over rival multiple sclerosis drugs, with a decision expected by the middle of this year. Biogen said it believed the agreement would "clarify and strengthen our intellectual property for Tecfidera," the multiple sclerosis drug that is its largest revenue generator. However, the agreement doesn't resolve ongoing patent disputes in the U.S. or Europe, Biogen said, and Forward Pharma plans to have a final decision made in those proceedings. The result of the patent dispute will affect whether Biogen pays Forward royalties, Biogen said, and the agreement will not affect Biogen's non-GAAP financial results for last year. Biogen shares were up a scant 0.5% in pre-market trade. Forward Pharma shares have dropped 10.4% over the last three months, compared with a 7.0% rise in the S&P 500 .

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