Shares of Alkermes Plc (ALKS) gained 5.2% to $53.72 in premarket trading on Monday, Nov. 27, as the Dublin-based firm and Biogen Inc. (BIIB) inked a global license and collaboration pact to develop and commercialize ALKS 8700, which is in Phase 3 development for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.
The agreement gives Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen an exclusive, worldwide license to commercialize ALKS 8700. Biogen will pay Alkermes a mid-teens royalty on worldwide net sales of the drug.
As part of the agreement, Biogen will reimburse Alkermes for 50% of the 2017 development costs for the drug, with Alkermes receiving an upfront payment of $28 million representing Biogen's share of development expenses already incurred in 2017. Starting January of next year, Biogen will shoulder all development expenses for ALKS 8700.
Alkermes may also receive milestone payments of up to $200 million for ALKS 8700.
Meanwhile, shares of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CPRX) rose 8.3% to $3.79 after the Coral Gables, Fla.-based firm unveiled positive top-line results from its second Phase 3 study of Firdapse for the symptomatic treatment of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder often characterized by muscle weakness of the limbs.
Catalyst president and CEO Patrick J. McEnany said in a statement that the company remains on pace to submit its new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the first quarter of next year.
Other biotech movers include Benitec Biopharma Ltd. (BNTC) . Benitec's American depository receipts rose 19.1% to $3.30 after the Sydney-based company said it has submitted an application to the FDA seeking orphan drug designation for BB-301 as a treatment of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, a disease caused by mutation in the poly(A)-binding protein nuclear 1 (PABPN1) gene.
"The Benitec team is executing on the key initiatives required to advance BB-301 into human clinical trials and we remain on track with our plan to file an IND with the FDA in the 4th quarter of 2018 and, assuming approval on a normal time-frame, we should be in an initial human clinical study by the end of 2018," said Benitec CEO Greg West in the news release.