Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO) announced today an exclusive worldwide collaboration and license agreement focused on the development of therapeutics for hemoglobinopathies, inherited conditions that result from the abnormal structure or underproduction of hemoglobin. The agreement will enable Biogen Idec to further enhance its expertise in non-malignant hematology by leveraging Sangamo's proprietary genome-editing technology platform to develop treatments targeting sickle cell disease (SCD) and beta-thalassemia.
"Our collaboration with Sangamo is expected to help us expand our capabilities to develop treatments for people with serious, inherited hematologic conditions," said Douglas E. Williams, Ph.D., Biogen Idec's executive vice president of research and development. "Building upon emerging science related to fetal hemoglobin regulation, we intend to develop Sangamo's novel gene-editing technology to create a single approach that has the potential to functionally cure both sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia."
Sangamo's proprietary zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) genome-editing technology enables multiple pathways to treat SCD and beta-thalassemia. The technology can be used to precisely target and knock out key regulators of gene expression, or can be used to precisely insert a new corrective gene to replace the defective copy.
"We are delighted to partner our hemoglobinopathies programs with Biogen Idec," said Edward Lanphier, Sangamo's president and chief executive officer. "Biogen Idec is a leader in drug development and has a history of successfully translating cutting edge science into treatments that provide life-changing clinical benefit for patients. This alliance is further validation of our ZFP platform as a transformative technology and accelerates our goal of developing a novel class of therapeutics which has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of genetic diseases."
Under the terms of the agreement, Sangamo is responsible for all research and development activities through the first clinical proof of concept trial in beta-thalassemia, and both companies will perform activities to enable submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for SCD. Biogen Idec will be responsible for subsequent worldwide clinical development and commercialization of products arising from the alliance. Sangamo retains an option to co-promote any licensed product to treat SCD and beta-thalassemia in the United States.
Biogen Idec will provide Sangamo with an upfront payment of $20 million and will reimburse Sangamo for its internal and external research and development program-related costs. Sangamo may also receive additional payments of approximately $300 million based on the achievement of certain development, regulatory, commercialization and sales milestones, as well as double digit royalties on product sales.
The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is subject to customary closing conditions including expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart–Scott–Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in the United States.
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.