Biogen Inc is set to pay $1.25 billion to Danish company Forward Pharma A/S to license patents covering multiple sclerosis drugs. The deal will give the Boston-based Biogen a safety net for future sales of Tecfidera, its blockbuster oral treatment for MS that garnered $4 billion in sales last year.
The deal gives Biogen exclusive licensing rights to the active ingredient, dimethyl fumarate. Yet legal proceedings between the two companies continues in the United States and Europe.
Biogen could still have to make royalty payments on future sales if it loses its challenges. But if its patents on Tecfidera are ruled valid and enforceable the company will owe no future payments.
According to Biogen, if a Forward Pharma patent keeps Tecfidera on the market and free of generic rivals, Biogen will pay a 10 percent royalty from 2021 through 2028, and subsequently a 20 percent royalty.
The FDA recently approved Biogen's Spinraza, the first drug approved to treat children and adults with spinal muscular atrophy.