US biotech Biogen (Nasdaq: BIIB) has exercised its option to obtain from Ionis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: IONS) a worldwide, exclusive, royalty-bearing license to develop and commercialize BIIB067 (IONIS-SOD1RX), an investigational treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutations.
ALS with SOD1 mutations is a subtype of familial ALS and accounts for around 2% of all ALS cases.
The shares of both companies dipped by mid-morning trading today, with Biogen down 0.73% at $320.29, and Ionis falling 0.88% to $55.51.
“Biogen and Ionis have a shared goal of bringing innovative therapies to those living with severe neurological diseases where there is significant unmet medical need,” said Dr Michael Ehlers, executive vice president, R&D at Biogen. “The progress made to date in the BIIB067 clinical program is a positive step forward. We are committed to our goal of bringing forward a therapy for patients with ALS with SOD1 mutations, who currently have limited or no treatment options,” he added.