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Italian Pharma Backs UniQure’s Gene Therapy

Rights deal will cover Glybera development costs, fuel progress on pipeline.

MICHAEL FITZHUGH

The Burrill Report

“The agreement with Chiesi is a key component of our strategy to rapidly develop and commercialize multiple gene therapy-based treatments, as well as being a validation of our technology platform.”

UniQure says it has signed two new collaboration agreements with Chiesi Farmaceutici for the commercialization of Glybera, the first gene therapy to receive regulatory approval in Europe, as well as the co-development of a gene therapy for hemophilia B.

Under terms of the agreements, Chiesi is providing UniQure with $21.8 million (€17 million) upfront payment and an additional $18 million (€14 million) through an equity financing. UniQure stands to receive net royalties that range from 20 to 30 percent over time on sales of both products. Chiesi will also fund half of the remaining development costs for the hemophilia B program.

UniQure also said it has converted the $18.1 million (€14.1 million) of debt the company recently raised from Coller Capital and existing investors into equity.

“The agreement with Chiesi is a key component of our strategy to rapidly develop and commercialize multiple gene therapy-based treatments, as well as being a validation of our technology platform,” says UniQure CEO Jörn Aldag.

The agreement provides Chiesi with exclusive commercialization rights in Europe and selected other countries for Glybera, a treatment of the orphan disease lipoprotein lipase deficiency, as well as the company’s experimental hemophilia B therapy. UniQure is retaining commercial rights for the United States, Japan, and parts of Latin America, Asia, and Australia.

Aldag says that during the next 12 to 18 months, UniQure anticipates “clarifying the path toward an FDA filing for Glybera,” reporting results from an early-stage study in the metabolic disease acute intermittent porphyria, and starting at least two early-stage studies for additional pipeline programs.


July 11, 2013
http://www.burrillreport.com/article-italian_pharma_backs_uniqure%e2%80%99s_gene_therapy.html

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