Allergan Acquires Gene-Therapy Company
Allergan has acquired all assets of RetroSense Therapeutics, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on gene therapy, in an all-cash transaction. Allergan has paid RetroSense a $60-million upfront payment and has agreed to potential regulatory and commercialization milestone payments related to its lead development program, RST-001, a gene therapy for the potential treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
RP is a group of rare, inherited genetic disorders characterized by progressive peripheral vision loss and night vision difficulties, which can eventually lead to blindness in many cases. RST-001 is a gene therapy application of optogenetics, a therapeutic approach that confers light sensitivity to cells that were not previously, or natively, light sensitive. The drug received orphan drug designation in 2014 by the US Food Drug Administration for treating RP.