Novartis to Acquire Gyroscope Therapeutics, Adding a One-time Gene Therapy That Could Transform Care for Geographic Atrophy, a Leading Cause of Blindness
Novartis announced today that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding share capital of the UK-based ocular gene therapy company Gyroscope Therapeutics.
Geographic atrophy (GA) is an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that leads to progressive and irreversible vision loss. There are no approved treatments for GA, making it one of the most significant unmet needs remaining in retinal diseases.
GT005 is designed as an AAV2-based, one-time investigational gene therapy for GA secondary to AMD that is delivered under the retina. GT005 aims to restore balance to an overactive complement system, a part of the immune system, by increasing production of the CFI protein. Complement overactivation can lead to inflammation that damages healthy tissues, and it has been strongly correlated with the development and progression of AMD. The CFI protein regulates the activity of the complement system. It is believed that increasing CFI production could reduce inflammation, with the goal of preserving a person’s eyesight.
The safety and efficacy of GT005 for the treatment of GA secondary to AMD is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial and two Phase 2 clinical trials. GT005 has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of people with GA.
Gyroscope also has several additional assets in its pipeline in early discovery for retinal diseases.
“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” said Marie-France Tschudin, President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. “This acquisition is one more step forward in our commitment to delivering innovation in ophthalmology to treat and prevent blindness worldwide.”
Novartis will make an upfront payment of $800 million and potential additional milestone payments of up to $700 million. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals. Until closing, Novartis and Gyroscope Therapeutics will continue to operate as separate and independent companies.
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