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Novartis to pay up to $1.5bn for Gyroscope

The acquisition of ocular gene therapy company, Gyroscope, adds GT005 to the Novartis portfolio – a one-time gene therapy for geographic atrophy, a leading cause of blindness


Swiss pharma Novartis is set to buy UK-based gene therapy company, Gyroscope Therapeutics, for an upfront payment of $800m and another $700m in milestone payments.

Gyroscope is a clinical-stage gene therapy company working on eye diseases that cause vision loss and blindness. Its lead investigational gene therapy, GT005, is currently in phase 2 trials for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA), a leading cause of blindness.

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, making it ‘one of the most significant unmet needs remaining in retinal diseases’, according to Novartis.

GT005 – which received fast track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration in September 2020 – is designed as a one-time gene therapy for GA secondary to AMD that is delivered under the retina.

It is believed the therapy ‘restores balance to an overactive complement system’, a part of the immune system, reducing inflammation with the goal of preserving a person’s eyesight.

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

Gyroscope CEO, Khurem Farooq, added: “Joining forces with Novartis will greatly enhance our ability to deliver on our promise by providing additional expertise and resources to expand our development programme for GT005 and realise the potential of our exciting pipeline.”

Novartis said the acquisition complemented its established expertise in retinal diseases and gene therapy and further built its position in ophthalmology gene therapy and optogenetics following acquisitions of Vedere Bio and Arctos Medical.

Novartis acquired Vedere Bio –and its two pre-clinical gene therapy programmes and novel delivery technology– for a deal worth up to $280m in September 2020. A year later, it snapped up Arctos Medical’s expanding optogenetics portfolio of gene therapies.

Article by
Hugh Gosling

23rd December 2021

From: Research



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