Collaborations, Gene Therapy

Pfizer doubles down on Sangamo’s zinc finger tech, adding ALS to a mix of gene therapy alliances

Whatever Pfizer $PFE has learned about Sangamo $SGMO and its zinc finger protein technology for gene therapies in the 8 months since it signed off on a $545 million partnership on hemophilia A seems to have only encouraged the pharma giant to go deeper — this time expanding into neurology.

This morning the two companies announced plans to collaborate on a new program for ALS, targeting mutations of the C9ORF72 gene.

Sandy Macrae

Repetitions of a six base pair sequence of DNA end up battering motor neurons, which is associated with ALS. And they’ll also be working on another set of motor neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes linked to frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

Pfizer — which is partnered with Spark on hemophilia B — is paying Sangamo $12 million upfront and adding $150 million in milestones.

“The precision and flexibility of zinc finger proteins enables targeting of virtually any genetic mutation,” said Sangamo CEO Sandy Macrae in a statement.


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