Biogen bags an AAV gene therapy program from Massachusetts Eye and Ear; Biotechs raised $1B-plus in latest round of follow-ons
→ Biogen has picked up a new, preclinical gene therapy program from Massachusetts Eye and Ear for inherited retinal degeneration due to mutations in the PRPF31 gene, among the most common causes for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. They’re building on the work of Harvard’s Eric Pierce. “The treatment of IRDs with highly effective AAV-based gene therapies is core to Biogen’s ophthalmology strategy,” said Chris Henderson, the research head at Biogen. “This agreement underscores our commitment to that strategy and builds off of our acquisition of Nightstar Therapeutics in 2019 and our active clinical trials of gene therapies for different genetic forms of IRD.”
→ Sarepta has inked a collaboration with Hansa to develop their experimental drug imlifidase as a pre-treatment for their gene therapies. The drug is intended for use in patients who have neutralizing antibodies that would prevent gene therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy from working. Hansa gets a $10 million upfront and up to $397.5 million in milestones.
→ It’s been raining money on Wall Street — at least when it comes to drug developers. CRISPR Therapeutics $CRSP and Acceleron each raised a whopping $450 million this week after pricing follow-on offerings. CRISPR priced 6,428,572 common shares at a public offering price of $70.00 per share, while Acceleron $XLRN auctioned off 4,864,864 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $92.50 per share.
→ The transatlantic biotech player Immatics has completed its flip onto Nasdaq through the Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp. The cancer drug biotech will trade as $IMTX after it raised $253 million in the process. The SPAC was set up by Perceptive Advisors.
→ Seattle-based Neoleukin Therapeutics, meanwhile, raised $76.2 million $NLTX for its work on protein therapeutics.