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May 12, 2014
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Regeneron's Avalanche play

How Avalanche gene therapy deal boosts Regeneron ophthalmic strategy

Partnering with Avalanche Biotechnologies Inc. to develop gene therapies for ophthalmic diseases appears to be in line with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s modus operandi of differentiating its products through more attractive dosing.

The partners will develop biologics, and gene therapy vectors to deliver them, for up to eight undisclosed targets. Regeneron will have exclusive rights to each product it advances to the clinic, and Avalanche has an option to select two targets for which it will share product development costs and profits. The potential indications are not disclosed.

Avalanche will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is eligible for up to $640 million in development and regulatory milestones, plus royalties.

The deal came less than a month after Avalanche announced a $55 million series B round from its previous undisclosed investors, plus new investors Venrock, Deerfield Management, Adage Capital Management, Redmile Group, Rock Springs Capital, Sabby Capital, an affiliate of Cowen & Company and two undisclosed healthcare funds.

In addition to the new products, the deal gives Regeneron rights of first negotiation to...

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