Japanese pharmaceutical firm Eisai has entered into a collaboration with US-based Biogen Idec for the development and commercialisation of Eisai’s two clinical candidates E2609 and BAN2401 for treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

As part of the collaboration, Eisai has an option to jointly develop and commercialise two of Biogen Idec’s candidates, an anti-amyloid beta (Aß) antibody BIIB037 and an anti-tau monoclonal antibody for AD.

The deal will intially focus on the co-development and co-commercialisation of Eisai’s two candidates E2609, a ß-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme (BACE) inhibitor and BAN2401, an anti-Aß antibody.

According to the company, these two candidates have the potential to reduce Aß plaques that form in the brains of AD patients and to stop the formation of new plaques, potentially improving symptoms and suppressing disease progression.

Under the deal, Eisai will serve as the operational and regulatory lead in the co-development of E2609 and BAN2401, as well as pursue marketing authorisations for both compounds worldwide.

Following marketing approval, they will also co-promote the products in major markets, such as the US and European Union (EU).

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Biogen Idec chief executive officer George Scangos said: "Eisai’s candidates have demonstrated compelling early data and complement our AD research, while extending our pipeline in this critical area."

"Eisai’s candidates have demonstrated compelling early data and complement our AD research, while extending our pipeline in this critical area."

The deal will see both companies share overall costs, including research and development expenses, while Eisai will be responsible for booking all sales for E2609 and BAN2401 and profits to be split between the companies.

Biogen will provide Eisai with an upfront payment and a fixed amount of development, approval and commercial milestone payments.

The deal also includes options for Eisai to get an additional one-off payment from Biogen Idec related to joint development and commercialisation activities in Japan.

Eisai president and CEO Haruo Naito said: "Eisai remains deeply focused on the development of such therapies based on the knowledge and experience it has accumulated through its development of the anti-AD agent Aricept."

According to Eisai, the deal will further enhance its existing R&D capacities in the development of next-generation AD treatments, as well as accelerate the development of new therapies and increase the benefits provided to patients with AD across the world.

Image: E2609 is discovered in-house by Eisai. Photo: courtesy of