Monday, September 24, 2007

Biogen and Johns Hopkins enter collaboration

Biogen is known to Neurologists and Multiple Sclerosis patients as the manufacturer of Avonex and Tysabri, two of the five primary MS disease-modifying drugs. Biogen also manufacturers Rituxan for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthrtis and is studying the benefit of Rituxan for MS patients. I'll be interested to see how this works out since I suffer from both.

Today Biogen Idec announced a research collaboration with the Brain Science Institue at Johns Hopkins University.

Cambridge, MA - September 24, 2007 - Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) today announced a research collaboration with the newly formed Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University to discover and develop therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The collaboration, the first of its kind between Biogen Idec and the University, will be focused on discovering and advancing clinical candidates from the lab into the clinic, with an emphasis on discovering new therapeutics for these diseases.

"Johns Hopkins is home to over 600 staff members and scientists who are focused on the neurosciences, offering world-class expertise in the frontiers of neurology and translational medicine, which complements our strength in neurological drug development," said Al Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president, neurology research and development, Biogen Idec. "This collaboration is part of Biogen Idec's long-term commitment to discovering treatments for neurological diseases with a high unmet medical need, as well as our efforts to develop new therapeutics based on innovative science."

John Griffin, M.D. director of the Brain Science Institute, will serve as the academic lead of the collaboration. He is a Professor and former Director of the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Professor of Neuroscience and Pathology, and Neurologist-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Griffin is also a long standing participant in Biogen Idec's neurology scientific advisory board.

The collaboration will be guided by a joint committee composed of representatives from Biogen Idec and Johns Hopkins. The collaboration will begin with a focus on two programs, with an expected expansion to additional programs over time.

About Biogen Idec
Biogen Idec creates new standards of care in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec is a global leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of innovative therapies. Patients in more than 90 countries benefit from Biogen Idec's significant products that address diseases such as lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the company, please visit

About Johns Hopkins University's Brain Science Institute
The Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute (BSI) was launched in March 2007, with a gift from an anonymous donor family. The Johns Hopkins BSI brings together neuroscientists from across the Hopkins schools and campuses to solve fundamental questions about brain development and function and to use these insights to understand the mechanisms of brain diseases, to develop effective treatments, and to take these therapies to patients. An important component of its mission is to foster translation of basic discovery into treatment. Hopkins neuroscientists have a long history of discovery, with over 1,000 patent applications. This agreement will be one important model of bridging the much-publicized "translational gap" between discovery and patient treatment.

The Johns Hopkins BSI is directed by John Griffin, M.D., and codirected by Rick Huganir. Dr. Griffin is the former Director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology, former President of the American Neurological Association, Editor of Nature Neurology, and a member of the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Huganir is Director of the Solomon Snyder Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Safe Harbor/Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the discovery and development of therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. These statements are based on Biogen Idec's current beliefs and expectations. Drug development and commercialization involves a high degree of uncertainty and risk.

For more detailed information on the risks and uncertainties associated with Biogen Idec's drug development and other activities, see Item 1A "Risk Factors" in Biogen Idec's most recent Form 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For more information contact:

Media Contacts:
Biogen Idec
Shannon Altimari
Ph: 617 914 6524

Johns Hopkins University
Christen Brownlee
Ph: 410 955 7832

Investor Contacts:
Biogen Idec
Eric Hoffman
Ph: 617 679 2812

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