Biogen, Alkermes Join Forces for Multiple Sclerosis Drug

Biogen Inc. (BIIB) and Alkermes Plc (ALKS) said Monday they have joined forces to make and commercialize an oral drug in phase 3 development that aims to treat multiple sclerosis.

The pharmaceutical companies entered into a licensing agreement that provides Biogen with the sole license to commercialize ALKS 8700, a monomethyl fumarate. Alkermes will receive a royalty in the mid-teens based off net sales, a news release said.

As part of the licensing agreement, Biogen will pay Alkermes half of the drug's development costs for 2017, starting with a $28 million payment upfront. Starting next year, Biogen will pay for all development costs. Biogen also expects to record a milestone payment to Alkermes for $50 million this year. Alkermes could receive up to $200 million worth of milestone payments from Biogen depending on the drug hitting certain markers.

The new drug application for the treatment is expected to be submitted next year.

Shares of Biogen were up 0.6% in low-volume premarket trading Monday. Shares of Alkermes were up 2.4% on low volume.

Write to Allison Prang at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 27, 2017 08:11 ET (13:11 GMT)