Novartis to acquire ocular gene therapy company Gyroscope Therapeutics

Novartis has agreed to acquire Gyroscope Therapeutics, a UK-based ocular gene therapy company, in a deal worth up to $1.5 billion.

As per the terms of the deal, the Swiss pharma giant will pay $800 million upfront followed by up to $700 million in potential additional milestone payments.

Through the deal, Novartis will gain access to the investigational, one-time gene therapy GT005. Presently, GT005 is in phase 2 development for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA) — an advanced type of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

To be delivered under the retina, GT005 is designed to increase the production of the CFI protein in order to bring back balance to an overactive complement system, which is a part of the immune system.

Boosting the production of the CFI protein is believed to decrease inflammation.

Novartis to acquire ocular gene therapy company Gyroscope Therapeutics

Novartis to acquire ocular gene therapy company Gyroscope Therapeutics. Photo courtesy of Andrew- from Flickr/Wikipedia.org.

GT005’s safety and efficacy for the treatment of geographic atrophy secondary to AMD is presently being assessed in a phase 1/2 clinical trial and a couple of phase 2 clinical trials.

The investigational gene therapy has secured fast track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the indication.

Apart from GT005, Gyroscope Therapeutics has various other assets in its pipeline in early discovery, which are aimed towards the treatment of retinal diseases.

Marie-France Tschudin — President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals said: “With our own pioneering research in ocular gene therapies and our experience gained from bringing Luxturna to inherited retinal dystrophy patients outside of the US, Novartis has a well-established expertise in ocular gene therapies that will position us well to continue developing this promising one-time treatment.

“This acquisition is one more step forward in our commitment to delivering innovation in ophthalmology to treat and prevent blindness worldwide.”

The closing of the deal is contingent on regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

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