Neurogene has concluded its merger deal with biopharmaceutical company Neoleukin Therapeutics to become a combined company focusing on the development of differentiated genetic therapies for complex neurological ailments.

Neurogene will now function as a wholly owned subsidiary of Neoleukin.

Neoleukin is focused on developing immunotherapies to treat cancer, inflammation and autoimmunity, leveraging its de novo protein design technology. 

The closure comes after the companies signed a definitive merger deal in July 2023. 

The merged business is anticipated to have a cash balance of $200m on closure, which includes $95m raised through a funding round led by current and new investors of Neurogene.

Casdin Capital, EcoR1 Capital, Great Point Partners, Janus Henderson Investors, Redmile Group and Samsara BioCapital were among those taking part in the financing round.

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The merged company will use the cash balance to finance its operations and meet value-creating milestones into the second half of 2026.

Neurogene’s portfolio comprises an investigational adeno-associated virus gene therapy, NGN-401, NGN-101 and a third discovery-stage candidate.

NGN-401 is being analysed in a Phase I/II clinical trial to evaluate its safety, tolerability and efficacy as a one-time treatment in female paediatric patients with Rett syndrome.

NGN-101 is in development as a single-dose therapy for ocular and neurological manifestations of CLN5 Batten disease, a rare neurodegenerative ailment.

Neurogene CEO and founder Rachel McMinn stated: “This transformative transaction provides us with a strong cash position allowing us to demonstrate the best-in-class potential of our transgene regulation technology in treating Rett syndrome, a debilitating and complex neurological disease that cannot be treated with conventional gene therapy. 

“We look forward to expanding our ongoing Phase I/II clinical trial in 2024 for paediatric patients with Rett syndrome beyond the first cohort of five patients, and presenting interim clinical data from this study in the fourth quarter of 2024, with additional data from an expanded number of patients expected in the second half of 2025.”