Elan fights against divorce from Biogen
Dublin - The honeymoon between Elan and Biogen has been over for a long time, now the marriage of the Irish biotech company and their US partner lies in ruins. The Elan Corporation has filed suit against Biogen Idec Inc. In the Federal Court in New York seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent Biogen Idec from terminating the partnership for Tysabri natalizumab.
In a letter to Elan dated July 28, 2009, Biogen Idec alleged that Elan was in material breach of the Collaboration Agreement by granting Johnson & Johnson an option to finance Elan's purchase of Biogen Idec's 50% interest in Tysabri if Biogen Idec is acquired. Biogen Idec claimed that Elan assigned rights to Tysabri without Biogen Idec's consent, which Elan denies. Biogen's letter triggered a 60-day period ending Sept. 26, after which Biogen Idec may seek to terminate the Tysabri deal. Elan is defiant and wants to close the transaction with Johnson & Johnson as soon as possible.
A year ago the relationship between Eland and Biogen was still functional. The two companies celebrated the second anniversary of Tysabri for the treatment of MS. In September 2008 Elan and Biogen announced the start of a clinical trial for the use of the antibody in the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.
Tysabri is a treatment approved for relapsing forms of MS in the United States and relapsing-remitting MS in the European Union. The recombinant, humanized monoclonal antibody targets the adhesion molecule VLA4 (also known as alpha-4 integrin) that is expressed on the surface of many types of immune cells.