Brian Culley, Lineage Cell Therapeutics CEO

Roche, Genen­tech tap re­gen­er­a­tive cell ther­a­py play­er for drug col­lab­o­ra­tion in eye dis­ease

In a lu­cra­tive mar­ket for oc­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion, Roche has long sat on a gold mine with its drug Lu­cen­tis — but the times are chang­ing, and the drug­mak­er is look­ing to add to its oc­u­lar port­fo­lio. Now, Roche will bet on a re­gen­er­a­tive ap­proach to eye dis­ease with a small biotech with some very ear­ly but promis­ing da­ta.

Genen­tech will pay $50 mil­lion up­front and a po­ten­tial $620 mil­lion in down­stream mile­stones for li­cens­ing rights to Lin­eage Cell Ther­a­peu­tics’ OpRe­gen pro­gram, a cell ther­a­py that aims to re­gen­er­ate healthy ver­sions of reti­nal pig­ment ep­ithe­lial cells in pa­tients’ eyes, the com­pa­nies said Mon­day.

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