Rocket Pharmaceuticals has entered a definitive agreement for the acquisition of biotechnology firm Renovacor in an all-stock equity deal worth nearly $53m, or $2.60 for each share.

Renovacor focuses on offering precision treatments for genetic cardiovascular and mechanistically-related ailments.

The most advanced programme of the company is adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy, REN-001.

It leverages gene transfer technology to target the monogenic cause of BAG3-linked dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a severe kind of heart failure. 

The Renovacor takeover is expected to further bolster the expertise of Rocket in AAV-based cardiac gene therapy, as well as support its near-term clinical assets to treat heart ailments. 

The boards of directors of Rocket and Renovacor have granted unanimous approval for the acquisition.

Subject to necessary closing conditions and approvals, the deal is anticipated to conclude in the first quarter of next year.

Rocket Pharmaceuticals CEO Gaurav Shah said: “The acquisition of Renovacor aligns with our strategy to expand our leadership position in AAV-based gene therapy for cardiac disease and gives us a perfect opportunity to continue on our mission to transform the lives of heart failure patients through the power of gene therapy. 

“Building on our success in Danon Disease to date, I am particularly excited to expand our cardiology focus and capabilities and address a clear unmet medical need in BAG3-associated dilated cardiomyopathy. 

“By combining Renovacor’s compelling preclinical work with our joint clinical, regulatory and CMC expertise, we believe we will be well-positioned to bring the highest impact gene therapy with the best chance for success to these patients in the most productive and efficient manner possible.”

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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