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Biogen Idec to acquire Fumapharm AG
July 2006
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LUCERNE, Switzerland—Biogen Idec and Fumapharm AG, a privately held pharmaceutical company, in late spring announced a definitive agreement whereby Fumapharm will be acquired by Biogen Idec.
 
Founded in Switzerland in 1983, Fumapharm develops therapeu­tics derived from fumaric acid esters for patients with high unmet medical need. The company has two products: FUMADERM, a commercial product available in Germany for the treatment of pso­riasis, and BG-12, a clinical-stage product that has been jointly devel­oped with Biogen Idec. BG-12, an oral fumarate, is being studied for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and psoriasis.
 
"This acquisition supports our goal of developing innovative ther­apeutic options for people living with MS," says James C. Mullen, Biogen Idec's president and CEO in a press release announc­ing the planned acquisition. "We look forward to continuing the development of BG-12, a prom­ising oral compound in MS, as well as expanding our European operations by working with Fumapharm's existing partners to provide FUMADERM to psoriasis patients in Germany."
 
In conjunction with the acquisi­tion announcement, Biogen Idec and Fumapharm announced posi­tive results from a Phase II study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of BG-12 in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. The study achieved its primary endpoint, demonstrating that treatment with BG-12 led to a statistically signifi­cant reduction in the total number of gadolinium-enhancing brain lesions as measured by MRI with six months of treatment versus placebo.
 
"Biogen Idec is perfectly posi­tioned to continue the develop­ment of BG-12 because of its global commercial and regulatory experi­ence and unsurpassed expertise in MS. We are proud of the work that Fumapharm has accomplished in the last 20 years and are confident that Biogen Idec will continue our legacy of helping patients," says Dr. Hans Peter Strebel, chairman and CEO of Fumapharm.
 
The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close by the end of this month. Upon completion, Biogen Idec will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of the cap­ital stock of Fumapharm and will take over manufacture and sale of FUMADERM for the treatment of psoriasis in Germany through Fumapharm's existing network. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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