Johnson and Johnson subsidiary Janssen has entered into a collaboration and licence agreement with gene therapy company MeiraGTx for the development, manufacture and commercialisation of therapies to treat inherited retinal diseases.
According to the terms of the deal, Janssen will gain an exclusive worldwide licence to some clinical assets under MeiraGTx’s inherited retinal disease portfolio.
The portfolio includes AAV-CNGB3 and AAV-CNGA3 to treat achromatopsia (ACHM) caused due to CNGB3 or CNGA3 mutations, as well as AAV-RGPR for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP).
AAV-CNGB3 and AAV-CNGA3 are gene therapy candidates developed to restore cone function, while AAV-RGPR is designed to target RPGR gene mutations in the most common type of XLRP.
Under the terms of the agreement, Janssen will pay $100m in upfront payment to MeiraGTx, which is also eligible for up to $340m in development and sales milestones for the three programmes.
MeiraGTx may additionally get 20% untiered royalties on annual net sales of CNGB3, CNGA3 and XLRP candidates.
Janssen will fund all clinical development and commercialisation costs associated with the programmes.
Janssen Research & Development global head Mathai Mammen said: “Through this collaboration we look forward to deepening our expertise in gene therapy and leveraging our breadth of research and development expertise to help bring forward new treatment options for people living with inherited retinal diseases.”
The partners also formed a research alliance to identify new targets for other inherited retinal diseases.
Janssen holds the right to opt-in to programmes resulting from this alliance, upon receiving the US Food and Drug Administration clearance of an investigational new drug application.
If the company decides to opt-in, it will be responsible for all clinical development and commercialisation costs.
In turn, MeiraGTx will gain an opt-in payment, development milestones and untiered royalty on annual net sales of commercialised products under this research alliance.
Janssen and MeiraGTx will also work together to further develop adeno-associated virus (AAV) manufacturing technology.