Sanofi’s Genzyme Forms $940 MM Gene Therapy Pact
Voyager Therapeutics, a gene-therapy company focused on developing treatments for central nervous system (CNS) diseases, and Genzyme, a Sanofi have formed a strategic collaboration, worth up to $940 million, to discover, develop, and commercialize gene therapies for severe CNS disorders. The collaboration will leverage Genzyme's expertise in adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy and Voyager's AAV product engine to develop gene therapies.
Genzyme will make an upfront commitment of $100 million to Voyager, including $65 million in cash, a $30 million equity investment in Voyager and additional in-kind contributions. Voyager is eligible to receive future potential development and sales milestone payments of up to $745 million, as well as tiered royalties on product sales.
The alliance will encompass multiple gene therapy programs, including programs for Parkinson's disease, Friedreich's ataxia, and Huntington's disease, as well as other CNS disorders. The collaboration portfolio created will combine programs and intellectual property from both companies.
Working with Genzyme, Voyager will drive research and development activities for all programs. Genzyme will have the option to license several programs following completion of an initial proof-of-concept human clinical trial. Voyager will retain all US rights to its lead product programs in Parkinson's disease (VY-AADC01) and Friedreich's ataxia (VY-FXN01). Voyager will split US profits with Genzyme for the Huntington's disease program (VY-HTT01). In addition, Voyager's lead amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) program (VY-SOD101) is not part of the collaboration and Voyager retains worldwide rights to this program.