Collaboration formed to develop AAV-based gene therapies for eye disease

ViGeneron and Biogen this week have announced a global collaboration and licensing agreement in which the partners will develop and commercialize gene therapy products based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors that treat inherited eye disease.


ViGeneron and Biogen have announced a global collaboration and licensing agreement in which the partners will develop and commercialize gene therapy products based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors that treat inherited eye disease.

According to a release, the partnership will use ViGeneron’s proprietary vgAAV technology, novel engineered AAV capsids, to efficiently transduce retinal cells via intravitreal injections.

In a statement, Caroline Man Xu, MD, co-founder and CEO of ViGeneron, noted that gene therapy has become a clinical reality.

“This collaboration exemplifies our strategy to develop in-house programs for selected retinal targets, while maximizing our proprietary technology platforms with additional collaboration programs for other targets in ophthalmology and further indications,” she said in the statement. “ViGeneron’s recognized expertise in retinal gene therapy together with Biogen’s leading research, drug development and commercialization experience is a powerful combination that we believe will allow us to deliver more novel gene therapies to patients in need.”

According to the agreement, within the collaboration ViGeneron will optimize and validate in vitro therapeutic candidates for an undisclosed target to treat inherited eye disease. Biogen has the right to add an additional reserved target within two years after the effective date.

Moreover, the companies announced that they will work together on the in vivo proof of concept, with Biogen responsible for all further development and commercialization of the selected therapeutic candidates.

According to terms of the agreement released this week, ViGeneron will receive an upfront payment and research and development funding of an undisclosed amount for the agreed work plan. The company also will be eligible to receive development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on net commercial sales of products arising from the collaboration.