In 2011, we completed enrollment of the global phase III (EMPOWER) trial of dexpramipexole in ALS, a rapidly progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease with limited treatment options. EMPOWER is among the largest studies ever conducted in ALS, and it was the fastest enrolled trial in Biogen Idec history. The first patient began treatment in March 2011, and the trial will readout topline data in the second half of 2012.
We aim to leverage our impressive expertise in neurology to bring to market life-changing therapies for devastating neurodegenerative diseases. These include ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
In January 2012, we announced an exciting partnership with Isis Pharmaceuticals for the development of a treatment for SMA, the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. This antisense investigational product has the potential to be a highly effective, first-to-market therapy for this deadly disease, which aligns with our strategic focus on programs with the highest potential to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families.