Innovative Alzheimer therapy: A new license agreement between BioArctic and Eisai on back-up program to BAN2401

BioArctic Neuroscience AB announces today that a new license agreement has been signed between BioArctic and the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai Co., Ltd.

BioArctic and Eisai have a very successful collaboration since more than 10 years. Three research collaborations regarding innovative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, including BAN2401, a back-up antibody as well as a new target. The treatments aims to affect the pathology of the disease, halt or slow down the disease progression and give the patients a better quality of life.

BAN2401 is a monoclonal antibody that selectively binds and eliminates protofibrils of beta-amyloid [1]. These soluble toxic aggregates lead to degeneration of brain cells, causing Alzheimer’s disease. BAN2401 aims to halt or slow down the progression of the disease and the continuous cognitive decline in Alzheimer patients. Eisai has obtained the global rights to study, develop, manufacture and market BAN2401 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. BioArctic retains the rights to market the antibody in the Nordic countries and to use it for other potential medical indications.

BAN2401 is currently studied in a clinical trial with up to 800 Alzheimer patients at early disease stage aiming at evaluating the effect on cognition and biomarkers reflecting the progression of the disease [2]. Eisai is driving the clinical program and the development of BAN2401 in collaboration with BioArctic.

This license agreement refers to a back-up antibody to BAN2401 which has been the outcome of one of the research collaborations between Eisai and BioArctic. Eisai has obtained the global rights to study, develop, manufacture and market the back-up antibody for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. BioArctic retains the rights to market the antibody in the Nordic countries.

“We are pleased with the new license agreement with Eisai, which is a world leading pharmaceutical company in Alzheimer’s disease research, and it is a clear evidence of our longstanding successful collaboration. Eisai is a very important collaborator for BioArctic, and we hope that our joint research and development will lead to new effective disease modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s patients”, says Gunilla Osswald, CEO at BioArctic Neuroscience.

For further information, please contact:

BioArctic Neuroscience AB
Gunilla Osswald, CEO
Telefon: 08-695 69 33
e-mail: gunilla.osswald@bioarctic.se

Notes to editors

Antibody BAN2401

Current research suggests that intermediates (Abeta protofibrils) in the aggregation process of the amyloid-beta peptide initiate and drive the neurodegenerative process in Alzheimer’s disease. Abeta protofibrils have been proven to be toxic elements of the disease in a number of studies in cell culture models and in transgenic animals with the Arctic and Swedish mutations (APParcswe), published by Prof. Lars Lannfelt, Uppsala University. BioArctic Neuroscience AB has developed a humanized monoclonal antibody (BAN2401) that selectively eliminates these toxic Abeta protofibrils. Eisai has obtained the global rights to study, develop, manufacture and market BAN2401 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Biogen Idec has engaged in co-development and co-marketing of BAN2401 with Eisai.

BioArctic retains the rights to market the antibody in Nordic countries and to use it for other potential medical indications.

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating neurodegenerative disease characterized by an insidious onset and progressive loss of memory and cognition. The disorder is also manifested by behavioural disturbances and functional impairment, and leads to premature death.

Alzheimer’s disease is a demographic time bomb. The disease is age-related and the number of patients doubles every five years beyond age 65, meaning that 30% of 85-year-olds are suffering from the disease. Current estimates indicate 35.6 million people worldwide are affected and researchers estimate that this number could triple by 2050[3]. In Sweden alone, the costs of dementia were estimated in 2005 to exceed 50 billion SEK, with the figure anticipated to grow as the average age of the population increases [4].

Alzheimer’s disease represents an area of high unmet medical need, as there is currently no treatment that can cure or stop the disease. Despite this, the Alzheimer’s disease market already stands $5.8bn in the seven major markets in 2011, with the market predicted to more than double to $14.5bn by 2020 with the introduction of newer therapies [5]. Halting disease progression would lead to enormous benefits to patients and caregivers and cost savings for society given the huge cost of patient care.

BioArctic Neuroscience

BioArctic Neuroscience AB is a biopharmaceutical company with a proprietary technology for developing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other disorders caused by misfolded proteins. BioArctic Neuroscience is also developing treatment for Spinal Cord Injury. www.bioarctic.se

Eisai Co., Ltd.

Eisai Co., Ltd. is a research-based pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and markets products worldwide. Guided by its corporate mission of “giving first thought to patients and their families, and to increasing the benefits that health care provides,” all Eisai employees aspire to meet the

various needs of global health care as representatives of a “human health care (hhc) company” that is capable of making a meaningful contribution under any health care system. For more information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit www.eisai.com/

[1] http://www.alzforum.org/therapeutics/ban2401
[2] http://www.alzforum.org/news/conference-coverage/ctad-adaptive-antibody-trial-try-bayesian-statistics
[3] WHO Report 2012: Dementia: A Public Health Priority. ISBN 978 92 4 156445 8
[4] Cost of dementia: Regional Patterns – Sweden Anders Wimo, Karolinska Institutet and Linus Jönsson, I3 Innovus. http://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Research/European-Collaboration-on-Dementia/Cost-of-dementia/Regional-Patterns-The-societal-costs-of-dementia-in-Sweden
[5] Reuters.com: Research and Markets: Alzheimer’s Market and Product Forecasts: Multi-Billion Dollar Potential in High-Risk Pipeline. Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:29