(Updates with stock price movement.)
received the rights to commercialize a multiple sclerosis drug outside the United States from
The two entered into an exclusive license and collaboration deal over the drug Fampridine-SR. The experimental pill may help patients with multiple sclerosis improve their ability to walk.
According to a press release, Acorda will get $110 million immediately, with up to $400 million more in payments based on hitting regulatory and sales hurdles.
Elan Pharma International
, a subsidiary of Dublin's
, which manufactures the drug through an agreement with Acorda, also will receive a fraction of the upfront and milestone payments between Acorda and Biogen.
"As we look to expand our global MS leadership, we believe Fampridine-SR has the potential to become an important oral therapy that may help improve the walking ability of a wide range of patients -- including patients with relapsing forms of MS, as well as primary and secondary progressive MS," Biogen CEO Jim Mullen said.
The announcement is a welcome respite for Biogen, which has run into a recent spate of bad news.
On Monday, Biogen shares slipped following disclosure that a 10th patient using the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri came down with a potentially deadly brain infection. Biogen works with Elan to market the drug.
On Tuesday, Biogen and
ended a Phase II clinical trial for a multiple sclerosis treatment. During the six-month treatment program known as CDP323, patients "did not benefit as expected" compared with a placebo, according to a release. Biogen shares slipped another 4.6%.
In June, Carl Icahn continued his attempts to wrest control of Biogen away by getting two of his own nominees elected to the board. Icahn has shown signs that he wants to
sell or split the company in two , with separate sections focused on cancer and neurological treatments.
In early morning trading, shares in Biogen were trading hands at $46.03, up by almost 2%.
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