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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Biogen to purchase private U.K. company with chronic pain drug, (NASDAQ: BIIB)

Biogen Idec Inc on Sunday said it would purchase small, privately-held Convergence Pharmaceuticals to acquire the U.K.-based company's portfolio of experimental drugs for chronic nerve pain. The U.S. biotech company, known for its roster of multiple sclerosis medicines, said it would pay Convergence shareholders $200 million up front. Under the terms of the agreement, they would also be eligible to receive up to $475 million more for the achievement of future development milestones.The centerpiece of the acquisition is Convergence's drug for trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that causes episodes of debilitating facial pain. The drug, CVN1014802, recently had positive results from a midstage trial in which it reduced the severity of pain and number of episodes compared with a placebo.The drug is also being tested for the painful back condition commonly known as sciatica, and has potential as a treatment for other nerve pain conditions, Biogen said.Convergence, formed by investors in 2010 based on drug candidates acquired from GlaxoSmithKline, will continue to operate out of Cambridge, England, Biogen said.

Biogen Idec Inc. (Biogen Idec) is a global biotechnology company. Shares of BIIB fell by 2.26% or $-7.91/share to $342.34. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $272.02 and as high as $361.93. On average, 1833640 shares of BIIB exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2562144.