Agreement with Forward Pharma gives Biogen license to keep selling blockbuster Tecfidera

Biogen will pay specialist drug firm Forward Pharma $1.25 billion (£1 billion) as part of a settlement and license agreement covering patents to therapeutic uses of dimethyl fumarate (which Biogen markets as Tecfidera for treating multiple sclerosis).

The payment does not resolve the firms’ ongoing patent dispute over the drug. However, it means that if Biogen loses, it will only pay royalties on future sales of Tecfidera, rather than back-paying royalties for sales since the drug was launched in 2014. The form of the eventual licensing agreement and level of royalty will depend on how the patent disputes in different countries are resolved, but in all cases Biogen will receive a perpetual license to sell Tecfidera and other multiple sclerosis drugs incorporating dimethyl fumarate.