-- Sanofi acquires exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialise StarGen™ and UshStat® --
Oxford, UK – 29 June 2012: Oxford BioMedica plc (“Oxford BioMedica” or “the Company”) (LSE: OXB), the leading gene-based biopharmaceutical company, and Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) today announced that Sanofi has elected to exercise its options to acquire two exclusive worldwide licences for further development, manufacture and commercialisation of StarGen™, a novel gene-based treatment for Stargardt disease, and UshStat®, a novel gene-based treatment for Usher syndrome type 1B. StarGen™ and UshStat® were designed and developed by Oxford BioMedica using the Company's proprietary LentiVector® platform technology.
StarGen™ and UshStat® are currently in Phase I/IIa development. On the basis of pre-clinical data, it is anticipated that a single application of StarGen™ or UshStat® to the retina could potentially either provide long-term or permanent therapeutic benefit for patients. There are currently no approved treatments available for Stargardt disease or Usher syndrome type 1B and, as such, both products have received EU and US Orphan Drug Designation which brings development, regulatory and commercial benefits.
Under the terms of the ocular agreement signed with Sanofi in April 2009, Oxford BioMedica will receive a total option exercise payment of US$3 million and is eligible for further development and commercialisation milestone payments and royalties on any future sales of the products. Oxford BioMedica is currently conducting the two ongoing Phase I/IIa trials for StarGen™ and Ushstat®. The companies will continue to work together to plan the next stages of development and finalise the terms of the worldwide licence agreements.
John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford BioMedica, said: “The success of our ocular programmes to date underlines our revolutionary approach to tackling diseases of the eye using LentiVector® platform technology. Sanofi is a world-class partner and we are confident that their continued commitment will help ensure that StarGen™ and UshStat® fulfil their significant potential.”
“We are delighted that Sanofi will be licensing StarGen™ and UshStat® gene therapies from Oxford BioMedica to continue advancing them through the clinical development pipeline,” said Stephen Rose, Ph.D., chief research officer, Foundation Fighting Blindness. “Sanofi’s commitment to these innovative gene therapies bolsters the opportunity to save vision in people with diseases for which there are no treatments.”
Notes to editors
About Oxford BioMedica
Oxford BioMedica (LSE:OXB) is a leading gene and cell therapy group focused on developing life changing treatments for serious diseases. Oxford BioMedica and its subsidiaries (the "Group") have built a sector leading lentiviral vector delivery platform (LentiVector®), which the Group leverages to develop in vivo and ex vivo products both in-house and with partners. The Group has created a valuable proprietary portfolio of gene and cell therapy product candidates in the areas of oncology, ophthalmology and CNS disorders. The Group has also entered into a number of partnerships, including with Novartis, Bioverativ, Sanofi, Axovant, Orchard Therapeutics, Boehringer Ingelheim/UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium/Imperial Innovations, GC LabCell and Immune Design, through which it has long-term economic interests in other potential gene and cell therapy products. Oxford BioMedica is based across several locations in Oxfordshire, UK and employs more than 320 people. Further information is available at www.oxfordbiomedica.co.uk.
For further information please contact
Oxford BioMedica plc
John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer
Stuart Paynter, Chief Financial Officer
Sarah MacLeod, Head of Communications
Tel: +44 (0)1865 783 000
Financial and corporate communications enquiries:
Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott/Matthew Neal/Olivia Manser/Laura Thornton
Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700