29 Aug 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Sangamo BioSciences signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ceregene, a privately held biotechnology company focused on developing adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapies.
Under the terms of the definitive agreement Sangamo will issue to the stockholders of Ceregene 100,000 shares of Sangamo's common stock, which represents less than 0.2 percent of Sangamo's total shares outstanding. In addition, Sangamo has agreed to make contingent earn-out payments to the stockholders of Ceregene based upon revenues generated from license or sales transaction of certain existing products of Ceregene. The acquisition is expected to close in September 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.
Sangamo will receive over 120 issued, pending or in-licensed patents that include patent families covering the AAV vector platform and manufacturing methods, therapeutic transgenes, and technology for direct administration of AAV to the brain. Sangamo will also have access to GMP master cell banks, materials and manufacturing know-how that will expand its capabilities in AAV manufacturing as well as a database of preclinical efficacy and toxicology studies and other documentation supporting Ceregene's Investigational New Drug (IND) applications.
Mr Edward Lanphier, president and CEO, Sangamo, said that, "Sangamo has acquired all of Ceregene's AAV assets including CERE-110, AAV delivery of nerve growth factor (NGF) to the brain for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. CERE-110 is being evaluated in a fully enrolled and fully funded phase II clinical trial. In addition to the AAV platform, the assets also include one of the world's largest databases of AAV GMP manufacturing know-how, toxicology data, and safety data from their human clinical trials, which will be an invaluable resource as we advance our ZFP Therapeutics."
Dr Geoff Nichol, Sangamo's executive vice president of R&D, said that, "Over 5 million people in the U.S. live with Alzheimer's, which is a devastating disease for both patients and their families, and more effective treatment options are needed. Early data from the CERE-110 program are encouraging. Clinical data from a phase I study demonstrate that CERE-110 can be safely injected into a specific area of the brain and preclinical studies suggest that treatment can produce levels of NGF that protect cholinergic neurons. The award granted by the NIH to fund the phase II trial, and participation of the ADCS, a pre-eminent research consortium for testing new treatments for Alzheimer's, demonstrate strong support for the development of this novel therapeutic."