Biogen Idec has acquired fellow Massachusetts, USA-based firm Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, which specializes in haemophilia treatments in a deal that could be worth up to $120 million.

Under the terms of the all-stock deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007, Biogen will initially hand over $40 million and could make additional payments of up to $80 million upon the achievement of certain development milestones.

Syntonix, which has deals in place with Boehringer Ingelheim and Serono, says it has developed technologies to harness the body’s natural pathways for protecting antibodies “against premature destruction” and for transporting them across cell barriers such as those in the lungs. Its lead product, FIX:Fc, is a proprietary long-acting factor IX product for the treatment of haemophilia B and the company expects to file a New Drug application with the US Food and Drug Administration sometime this year.

Explaining the rationale behind the deal, Biogen chief executive James Mullen said it fits in with the firm’s “strategic initiative to enhance our pipeline and expand into additional specialised markets. His counterpart at Syntonix, John Ripple, noted that his firm’s new owner is “well-poised to deliver on the promise of haemophilia therapies that require less frequent dosing."