Sigma-Aldrich and Sangamo Biosciences extend license agreement for ZFP technology

Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (Nasdaq: SIAL) and Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGMO) today announced a major expansion of their existing license agreement to include the exclusive rights to develop and distribute zinc finger DNA binding protein (ZFP)-modified cell lines for commercial production of protein pharmaceuticals. Additionally, Sigma-Aldrich licensed rights to certain ZFP-engineered transgenic animals for commercial applications.

"The zinc finger technology platform developed by Sangamo is a core component of Sigma-Aldrich's growth strategy into high-value biologic tools," said Jai Nagarkatti, Sigma-Aldrich's Chairman, President and CEO. "We have experienced tremendous interest from the academic and biotechnology research community in our CompoZr(TM) zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) platform of reagents. Expanding our capability to provide ZFN-modified cells for the commercial production of therapeutic proteins and vaccines takes us into markets with enormous commercial potential, and we fully intend to maximize the value of these assets."

"ZFN-based gene editing is rapidly emerging as a critical tool in modern biotechnology," said David Smoller, Ph.D., President of Sigma-Aldrich's Research Biotech Business Unit. "The ability to modify genes in essentially any cell type has been established. In addition, we are now able to generate transgenic animals in species in which it was previously impossible to efficiently and specifically carry out genome modification. This opens up endless possibilities for application and commercialization of the ZFP technology platform."

"We are delighted with our partnership with Sigma-Aldrich," said Edward Lanphier, Sangamo's President and CEO. "Sigma-Aldrich has been aggressively developing, marketing and distributing ZFP-based products through their CompoZr website, and we anticipate the same success in these expanded markets of cell line engineering and transgenic animal products. Sangamo's business model enables us to access non-dilutive funding for our core ZFP Therapeutic(TM) programs by monetizing the industrial applications of our ZFP technology with a focused and committed partner. Sigma-Aldrich has proven to be just that."

For more information on Sigma-Aldrich's CompoZr ZFN technology platform, visit http://www.compozrzfn.com or contact a sales representative at [email protected]

Terms of the License Agreement Amendment

The expanded agreement provides Sigma-Aldrich with exclusive rights to develop and distribute ZFP-modified cell lines for commercial production of protein pharmaceuticals and ZFP-engineered transgenic animals for livestock, companion animals and therapeutic protein production. Sangamo retained all rights to ZFP-modified transgenic animals for discovery of novel therapeutics and the right to use ZFPs as therapeutic products. Under this agreement, Sigma-Aldrich will make initial payments of $20.0 million to Sangamo, consisting of an upfront license payment of $15.0 million and $5.0 million through the purchase of 636,133 shares of Sangamo common stock at market price. Market price is determined by the average closing price of Sangamo stock over the past 30 trading days, or $7.86 per share. Sangamo is eligible to earn additional contingent commercial license fees of up to $5.0 million based on certain conditions and thereafter a royalty based upon a percentage of net sales and sublicensing revenue. Sangamo is also eligible to receive commercial milestone payments ranging from $2.0 million to $10.0 million, up to a total of $25.0 million, based upon cumulative product sales.

Source:

Sigma-Aldrich Corporation

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