Biogen, AGTC Close Potential $1 Bn Deal for Rare Eye Diseases

Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation, a biotechnology company conducting human clinical trials of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies for treating rare-eye diseases, has closed on its previously announced collaboration with Biogen, first announced on July 2, 2015, and valued up to $1 billion. 

AGTC’s agreement with Biogen is a broad collaboration and license agreement focused on the development of gene-based therapies for two orphan diseases of the retina and three options for early-stage discovery programs in two ophthalmic diseases and one non-ophthalmic condition. The deal also includes an equity investment in AGTC by Biogen and a license agreement for manufacturing rights. AGTC has a product pipeline that includes five ophthalmology development programs across four targets (XLRS, XLRP, achromatopsia, and wet age-related macular degeneration), one non-ophthalmology program (alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency), and proof-of-concept data in multiple additional indications.

Under the agreements, Biogen will make near-term payments ,including an upfront payment in the amount of $124 million to AGTC, which includes a $30 million equity investment at a purchase price of $20.63 per share. AGTC is eligible to receive upfront and milestone payments exceeding $1 billion in total. Biogen will be granted a license to the XLRS and XLRP programs and the option to license discovery programs for three additional indications at the time of clinical candidate selection.

Biogen obtains worldwide commercialization rights for the XLRS and XLRP programs. AGTC has an option to share development costs and profits after the initial clinical trial data are available, and an option to co-promote the second of these products to be approved in the United States. AGTC will lead the clinical development programs of XLRS through product approval and of XLRP through the completion of first-in-human trials. Biogen will support the clinical development costs, subject to certain conditions, following the first-in-human study for XLRS and investigational new drug application-enabling studies for XLRP. Under the manufacturing license, Biogen will receive an exclusive license to use AGTC’s proprietary technology platform to make AAV vectors for up to six genes, three of which are in AGTC’s discretion, in exchange for payment of milestones and royalties.

Source: Applied Genetic Technologies

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