Biogen agreed to $487.5 million in milestones related to Phase II antifibrotic and preclinical anti-inflammatory agents.

Biogen Idec is paying $75 million up front to buy Stromedix, a company focused on therapies for fibrosis and organ failure. Biogen Idec will also make contingent value payments of up to $487.5 million based on the achievement of development and approval milestones across multiple indications.

Stromedix has a preclinical compound that may have utility for the treatment of injury due to inflammation. Lead candidate, STX-100, is entering a Phase II trial in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The firm has identified a series of clinical biomarkers that reflect the biological activity of STX-100.

The drug is a humanized mAb that selectively targets integrin αvβ6, preventing αvβ6 from binding to latent TGFβ complex and converting it to active TGFβ, the central driver of fibrosis. In August 2010, FDA granted orphan drug designation to STX-100 for the treatment of IPF.

“Fibrotic organ failure and in particular IPF is a terrible disease with a high mortality rate, and there are no effective treatments at this time,” notes Douglas E. Williams, evp, R&D of Biogen Idec. “We believe STX-100 has the potential to be a best-in-class therapy, and it is an excellent strategic fit with our focus on highly differentiated programs with the potential to make a real difference for patients.”

Michael Gilman, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Stromedix, who previously led Biogen Idec’s research organization from 2000 to 2005, comments, “We appreciate Biogen Idec’s focus in immunology and their tremendous international R&D and commercial capabilities. By joining forces, we expect to accelerate the development of STX-100 and other promising early-stage drug candidates.”

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