Biogen Idec has signed up another partner to bolster its research pipeline; this time its US biopharma Amicus Therapeutics, and the groups will be working on the development of drugs for Parkinson's disease.

Shares in Amicus were trading up nearly 10% at one point yesterday as investors welcomed news of the alliance, which will focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of novel small molecules for the treatment of the neurological disorder.

The collaboration intends to build on preclinical studies conducted by Amicus indicating that increasing activity of the lysosomal enzyme glucocerobrosidase (GCase) in the brain might correct alpha-synuclein pathology and other deficits associated with Parkinson's disease, the firm said.

More specific details of the deal were kept under wraps, though it was revealed that Biogen will be responsible for funding all discovery, development, and commercialisation activities, also reimbursing Amicus for any of its full-time employees working on the project. 

And, as usual, Amicus stands to receive (undisclosed) development and regulatory milestones, as well as "modest" royalties on global net sales of any products borne from the partnership.

Amicus chief John Crowley said the deal represents an "important step forward in validating the potential to address neurodegenerative diseases by increasing relevant enzyme activity in the brain".

The move marks the second research deal for Biogen this week, having just signed a $100 million plus research pact with Isis to develop antisense-based therapies for neurological disorders.