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Biogen, Skyhawk to partner on therapies for neurological diseases in $74M deal

Biogen Inc. entered a strategic collaboration with Skyhawk Therapeutics Inc. to use its SkySTAR technology platform to develop therapies for neurological diseases.

Skyhawk received an upfront payment of $74 million from Biogen and may receive potential future milestone payments and royalties.

Waltham, Mass-based Skyhawk focuses on developing therapeutics that correct ribonucleic acid, or RNA, expression. Its SkySTAR technology platform helps target neurological conditions using selective RNA-modulating small molecules.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen will have the option to license therapies developed under the collaboration and will be responsible for their development and potential commercialization.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen, which offers multiple treatments of multiple sclerosis or MS, will also have an exclusive license to worldwide intellectual property rights on research-stage therapeutic candidates for the treatment of MS, spinal muscular atrophy and additional neurological disorders.

MS is a chronic disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation, or balance. Spinal muscular atrophy is a rare, genetic disease affecting the area of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement.