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Biogen, Ionis collaborate to find new therapies for spinal muscular atrophy

Biogen Inc. and Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. signed a collaboration agreement to identify new antisense oligonucleotide drug candidates to treat spinal muscular atrophy.

Spinal muscular atrophy is characterized by loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and lower brain stem, resulting in severe and progressive muscular atrophy and weakness.

Under the agreement, Biogen will have the option to license therapies arising out of the collaboration and will be responsible for their development and commercialization.

Ionis will receive a $25 million upfront payment and will earn development and regulatory milestone payments from Biogen if new drugs advance towards marketing approval. Biogen will pay Ionis performance milestones and tiered royalties on net sales upon commercialization.