Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB) and Genentech, Inc. a wholly owned member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that they have agreed to amend their collaboration on antibodies targeting CD20. The companies have agreed that Genentech will have responsibility for the further development of ocrelizumab in multiple sclerosis (MS). Genentech will fund 100% of the costs going forward and will be responsible for development and commercialization. Biogen Idec will receive tiered, double-digit royalties on US sales of ocrelizumab that will approximate its current 30% interest in the compound. Further, the companies have agreed that the commercialization of ocrelizumab will not impact the current profit share of RITUXAN® (rituximab).
“We believe both Genentech and Biogen Idec will benefit from the new structure of the anti-CD20 collaboration”
In addition, Biogen Idec and Genentech have agreed that Biogen Idec will increase its share of the losses and profits related to the development and commercialization of GA101 in the US to 35% from 30%. GA101 is a next-generation anti-CD20 antibody in development for CLL and NHL. Biogen Idec will pay Genentech approximately $10 million as a catch-up payment for expenses incurred to date on GA101 since Biogen Idec was previously paying 30% of the development costs. Once GA101 achieves certain sales milestones, Biogen Idec's share of the co-promotion profits of RITUXAN will decrease from 40% to 35%.
"I am pleased that we were able to reach this agreement with Genentech," said George Scangos, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Biogen Idec, "Our partnership with Genentech and Roche is very important to us, and I believe this agreement is in the interests of both companies and patients. We recently reported positive phase II data for ocrelizumab in multiple sclerosis, which suggest that the compound could provide a substantial benefit to patients with MS. This agreement allows Genentech and Roche to aggressively develop the compound in MS, while allowing Biogen Idec to avoid a further concentration of its R&D dollars in phase III trials for multiple sclerosis. Further, we have agreed on the profit sharing arrangements for GA101 and RITUXAN, which were a potential area of dispute. The companies' interests are now aligned, allowing us to work together to maximize the revenues for the collaboration products while maximizing the benefit for patients."
"We believe both Genentech and Biogen Idec will benefit from the new structure of the anti-CD20 collaboration," said Dan Zabrowski, Head of Roche Partnering. "Recently we announced exciting phase II study results which showed that ocrelizumab significantly reduced disease activity as measured by brain lesions and relapse rate for patients with MS. We believe in the potential of ocrelizumab and look forward to exploring it further in phase III studies."