Pfizer Acquires Bamboo Therapeutics To Boost Position in Gene Therapy
Pfizer Inc. has acquired Bamboo Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina., focused on developing gene therapies for the potential treatment of patients with certain rare diseases related to neuromuscular conditions and those affecting the central nervous system. This acquisition expands Pfizer's expertise in gene therapy by providing Pfizer with a clinical and several preclinical assets that complement the company's rare disease portfolio, an advanced recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vector design and production technology, and a Phase I/II gene therapy manufacturing facility that Bamboo acquired from the University of North Carolina earlier this year.
Pfizer previously acquired approximately 22% of Bamboo's fully diluted equity during the first quarter of 2016 for a payment of approximately $43 million. Under the terms of this transaction, Pfizer acquired all of Bamboo's remaining equity for an upfront payment of $150 million, and Bamboo's selling shareholders will be eligible for potential milestone payments of up to $495 million contingent upon the progression of key assets through development, regulatory approval, and commercialization. Following the acquisition, Bamboo is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer.
Bamboo's portfolio includes rAAV-based gene therapies that will complement Pfizer's rare disease and gene therapy portfolios in two priority areas: neuromuscular, with a preclinical asset for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); and central nervous system, with preclinical assets for Friedreich's Ataxia and Canavan disease, and a Phase I asset for giant axonal neuropathy.
Bamboo's approximately 11,000-square foot, fully staffed and operational manufacturing facility has experience producing Phase I/II materials using a suspension, cell-based production platform that increases scalability, efficiency and purity, according to the companies. This helps enable the DMD program and other projects requiring large amounts of rAAV. The facility, previously known as the University of North Carolina Vector Core facility, has served as a qualified supplier of rAAV vectors for several healthcare companies and academic institutions.