BioFocus will use its SilenceSelect platform and unique human skin models to deliver new assays and identify disease-modifying targets in scleroderma to Biogen Idec. BioFocus will receive an upfront payment and FTE funding, and will be eligible to receive success payments for target discovery milestones delivered by BioFocus and development milestones achieved by Biogen Idec. The total value to BioFocus could reach $31 million.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease characterized by hardening of the skin. Patients with diffuse scleroderma also experience hardening of the organs, which can be disabling or fatal. Scleroderma, found worldwide, affects one in 1,000 in the U.S., with women four times more likely than men to develop the disease. Its root causes are not well understood, and there are no disease-modifying treatments.