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Regeneron, Avalanche in gene therapy deal

May 6, 2014 12:40 AM UTC

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) partnered with Avalanche Biotechnologies Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.) to discover, develop and commercialize gene therapy products to treat ophthalmologic diseases. The partners will jointly discover novel gene therapy vectors and compounds against up to eight undisclosed targets. Regeneron will have exclusive, worldwide rights to each product it chooses to move into the clinic. Avalanche will receive an undisclosed upfront cash payment and is eligible for up to a total of $640 million in milestones, plus royalties. Avalanche has the option to share in development costs and profits for products against two targets to be selected by the company.

Avalanche also granted Regeneron a right of first negotiation for rights to Avalanche's AVA-101 upon completion of an ongoing Phase IIa trial for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Data are expected in mid-2015. AVA-101 is an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-based therapy that delivers soluble VEGF receptor 1 ( sFLT1; sVEGFR-1), a VEGF inhibitor. ...