Serg Zastavkin /
7 July 2015Americas

Biogen signs ‘$1bn’ deal to make eye treatments

Biotechnology company Biogen has agreed a partnership potentially worth $1 billion with gene therapy business AGTC to develop eye treatments.

As part of the partnership, announced on Thursday, July 2, the two companies will focus on developing AGTC’s therapeutic programmes on finding cures for retina diseases that can lead to blindness.

As part of a licensing deal, AGTC will receive an upfront payment of $124 million, which includes a $30 million equity investment, Biogen said in a statement.

Massachusetts-based Biogen will also make additional payments for development and sales milestones, which could eventually make the agreement worth more than $1 billion.

The agreement also includes options for collaborating on early stage discovery programmes centred on two eye disease treatments as well as a licensing agreement covering manufacturing rights.

Olivier Danos, senior vice president of cell and gene therapy at Biogen, said: “With this collaboration, we hope to advance gene therapies to open possibilities for patients who suffer from diseases that are well understood, but have no adequate treatment.”

Sue Washer, president of AGTC, added: “Biogen’s significant commitment to advancing gene therapies … combined with our proprietary manufacturing technology and extensive gene therapy experience makes this an ideal partnership.”

The lead programmes in the collaboration include finding potential treatments for X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP).

XLRS, a disease affecting young males beginning during the teenage years, can lead to complications including vitreous hemorrhage or retinal detachment during adulthood. XLRP usually causes night blindness by the age of ten and progresses to legal blindness by an individual’s early forties.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at