NIH Receives 2017 "Deals of Distinction™" Award from the Licensing Executives Society

The 2017 Deals of Distinction™ Award was presented to National Institutes of Health, (NIH) along with its corporate partners, AbbVie and Biogen, for a license agreement related to the development and launch of Zinbryta® for treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS)   The award, one of the most prestigious for technology transfer, was given to NIH and its partners at the Licensing Executives Society Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

Scientists at NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) had the insight that mechanism of action for dacilizumab, a transplant rejection drug that was withdrawn from the market, might also be useful in the treatment of relapsing MS and eventually successfully utilized this drug in a small MS clinical trial.  From this work, method of treatment and dosage patents were obtained for treatment of MS and other autoimmune diseases as a single agent or in combination with existing therapies.  Development of the technology by Biogen and AbbVie resulted in FDA approval and launch of Zinbryta® in 2016.

This particular license agreement can be considered important both in terms of public health as well as biomedical business.   First,  MS is a significant public health problem as it is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system affecting more than 2 million people  with existing treatment options for relapse limited prior to the development and launch of Zinbryta®.  Second, the successful launch of a "repurposed" drug confirms the utility of this approach with its inherent savings of development time and money -- all of particular importance for research institutions, drug development companies and public health.

For more information about the “Deals of Distinction” Award, please see here.

For information about other license opportunities from the NIH, please see here.