Pfizer, Voyager Therapeutics in $630-M Gene-Therapy Pact

Pfizer and Voyager Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts company developing gene therapies, have entered into a licensing agreement under which Pfizer may exercise options to license capsids generated from Voyager’s screening technology to develop, manufacture, and commercialize gene therapies, in a deal worth up to $630 million ($30 million upfront, up to $20 million in option fees, and milestone payments up to $580 million).

Voyager’s TRACER (Tropism Redirection of AAV by Cell-type-specific Expression of RNA) system is an RNA-based functional screening platform that allows for in-vivo evolution of associated virus (AAV) capsids with enhanced tropisms and cell- and tissue-specific transduction properties in multiple species.

Under the agreement, Pfizer will have the right to evaluate capsids selected for central nervous system and cardiac tropisms from Voyager’s platform and to exercise options to license capsids for exclusive use in Pfizer’s development of AAV gene therapies incorporating two undisclosed transgenes. These transgenes will be distinct from those planned for Voyager’s internal pipeline. Voyager will retain global rights to all licensed capsids for use with other transgenes and to all other applications of its TRACER technology.

Voyager will receive $30 million upfront and is entitled to receive up to $20 million in exercise fees for two options, exercisable by Pfizer within 12 months of signing. In addition, Voyager will be eligible to earn up to $580 million in total development, regulatory, and commercial milestones associated with licensed products incorporating the two undisclosed Pfizer transgenes together with a Voyager-licensed capsid. Voyager is also eligible to receive mid- to high-single-digit tiered royalties based on net sales of Pfizer’s products incorporating the licensed capsids.

Source: Voyager Therapeutics