Biogen announced an agreement to acquire from Pfizer a first-in-class, Phase 2b ready AMPA receptor potentiator for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS).
The purchase will include an upfront payment of $75 million with up to $515 million in additional development and commercialization milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties in the low to mid-teen percentages.
AMPA receptors mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system, a process which can be disrupted in a number of neurological and psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia. The drug has previously demonstrated an acceptable safety profile and treatment effect trends across multiple domains of cognition in Phase 1b clinical studies. Biogen aims to initiate a Phase 2b trial in the second half of 2018.
Worldwide there are greater than 20 million people living with schizophrenia and it is estimated that the majority of them live with some degree of cognitive impairment attributable to the disease. Cognitive impairment is increasingly recognized as one of the greatest unmet needs in the effective treatment of schizophrenia.