Passage Bio Expands Gene Therapy Collaboration with UPenn
May 7, 2020
Rare Daily Staff
Gene therapy developer Passage Bio said it has expanded its collaboration with the Gene Therapy Program at the University of Pennsylvania to include an additional five programs and extend Passage Bio’s period to exercise its new program options for an additional three years through 2025.
The expansion builds upon the original collaboration signed in early 2019 and brings the total number of programs to seventeen under their partnership.
As part of the expanded agreement, Passage Bio will pay $5 million annually to UPenn to fund research across numerous technology applications for gene therapy.
In addition to the five additional program options and extension of the relationship through 2025, Passage Bio will receive exclusive rights, subject to certain limitations, to IP arising from this research and related indications that are applicable to the products it develops with GTP, such as novel capsids, toxicity reduction technologies, and delivery and formulation improvements.
“The partnership between GTP and Passage Bio continues to be extremely strong and productive as we collaborate to bring our gene therapy products to patients,” said James Wilson, director of the Gene Therapy Program at the University of Pennsylvania and chief scientific advisor of Passage Bio.
Wilson co-founded Passage Bio in 2019 by Wilson to develop a portfolio of five preclinical therapeutic candidates to treat rare, genetic, central nervous system diseases under the original research, collaboration, and license agreement with UPenn’s GTP and the Penn Orphan Disease Center. That agreement also included the option to license seven more programs. The GTP conducts the IND-enabling preclinical work and Passage Bio conducts all clinical development, regulatory strategy and commercialization activities.
Passage Bio’s pipeline of gene therapy candidates includes lead programs in GM1 gangliosidosis, frontotemporal dementia, and Krabbe disease.
“Expanding this collaboration provides us with the opportunity to not only deepen our pipeline but also strengthen our own expertise and capabilities as we strive to develop transformative gene therapies for patients,” said Bruce Goldsmith, president and CEO of Passage Bio.
Photo: James Wilson, director of the Gene Therapy Program at the University of Pennsylvania and chief scientific advisor of Passage Bio
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