Biogen Inks Electrolyte Drug Deal - TheStreet

Biogen Inks Electrolyte Drug Deal

The biotech company will co-develop lixivaptan with privately held Cardiokine.
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Biogen Idec

(BIIB) - Get Report

said Monday it has agreed to co-develop an electrolyte abnormality treatment with privately held pharmaceutical company



The companies will collaborate on the development of lixivaptan, which causes water to be excreted from the kidneys without affecting sodium or electrolytes, according to the company. It's used to treat hyponatremia, or disturbance of electrolytes, and is expected to enter a phase III clinical trial this year for patients with congestive heart failure.

Under the agreement, which the companies expect will become effective in the third quarter, Biogen will be responsible for the global commercialization of lixivaptan and Cardiokine will have an option for limited co-promotion in the U.S. Biogen said it will pay Cardiokine $50 million upfront and $170 million in additional milestone payments for successful development and commercialization of the drug, as well as sales-based royalties.

"With this late-stage oral compound, we continue to leverage our global development and specialty market expertise to grow our business and broaden our therapeutic focus. An effective treatment for hyponatremia could be beneficial to patients with a variety of diseases, including heart failure," said Biogen CEO James Mullen.

Separately, Biogen disclosed results of its Dutch auction tender, which expired at midnight on June 26. The offer yielded the repurchase of 56.4 million shares of common stock -- about 16% of the shares outstanding -- at $53 apiece, for around $3 billion. To finance the repurchase, the company said it's borrowing $1.5 billion under a loan agreement with Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.

Biogen shares were down 3 cents, or 0.1%, at $53.47 in recent trading Monday.