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Regeneron Enters Collaboration and Option Agreement with ViGeneron for Retinal Gene Therapy

April 6, 2022

Regeneron has entered into a strategic collaboration and option agreement with German biotech ViGeneron to develop an AAV-based gene therapy for an undisclosed target to treat inherited eye disease.

Photo: Caroline Man Xu, co-founder and CEO of ViGeneron

The deal comes a little more than a year after ViGeneron signed a similar agreement with Biogen for using its proprietary vgAAV platform of novel recombinant engineered AAV vectors, which the company says allow for superior transduction efficiency and intravitreal administration, a less invasive treatment.

Under the terms of their research collaboration, Regeneron and ViGeneron will work together to create and validate vgAAV-based therapeutic candidates for one undisclosed inherited retinal disease target. ViGeneron will receive an upfront payment and research funding. Regeneron has an option for an exclusive license to develop, commercialize and manufacture the vgAAV-based product for the specific target for which ViGeneron will be eligible to receive an option exercise fee, development and commercial milestone payments, plus royalties on net sales.

ViGeneron says its platform is designed to overcome the limitations of existing adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies. To date, therapeutically impactful targeting of photoreceptors relies on subretinal vector delivery, which harbors substantial risks of retinal detachment and collateral damage, often without achieving widespread photoreceptor transduction. vgAAV vectors could potentially enable the efficient transduction of target cells via intravitreal injection that allows lateral spreading and minimizes the risk of retinal detachment caused by conventional subretinal injection.

“This agreement with Regeneron further validates the potential of our vgAAV platform, which is excellent for us and delivers a deal value that contributes financing for our platform and proprietary program development activities,” said Caroline Man Xu, co-founder and CEO of ViGeneron. “Furthermore, it fits into our strategy of developing proprietary programs for selected retinal targets through clinical trials, while maximizing our technology platforms for additional collaboration programs in retinal diseases, CNS and other disease areas with bellwether biopharma. Our aim is to overcome the current limitations of gene therapy and to bring a novel therapeutic approach to patients in need.”

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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