Voyager Therapeutics has entered a strategic alliance with Neurocrine Biosciences to develop and commercialise its gene therapy candidates intended for severe neurological conditions.
In addition to VY-AADC for Parkinson’s disease and VY-FXN01 for Friedreich’s ataxia, the deal covers rights to two other programmes that are yet to be determined.
The partnership will combine Neurocrine’s neuroscience, drug development and commercialisation expertise with Voyager Therapeutic’s CNS-focused gene therapy capabilities.
As part of the deal, Neurocrine will pay $165m to Voyager Therapeutics, including a $115m upfront payment and a $50m equity investment.
Voyager Therapeutics is also eligible for up to $1.7bn in development, regulatory and commercial milestones across the programmes.
Furthermore, the company will fund all costs associated with the four programmes covered under the alliance.
Voyager Therapeutics president and CEO Andre Turenne said: “Neurocrine Biosciences is an ideal partner with its proven expertise developing and commercialising treatments for movement disorders and other neurological diseases.
“This is a transformational collaboration for Voyager that greatly enhances our efforts towards becoming the leading, fully-integrated gene therapy company focused on severe neurological diseases while allowing us to continue to invest in our additional pipeline programmes and platform.”
Under terms of the collaboration, Neurocrine will fund the clinical development of VY-AADC’s Phase II-III pivotal programme and VY-FXN01’s Phase I clinical trial.
Following the readout of the Phase II trial data, Voyager holds an option to co-commercialise VY-AADC in the US under a 50/50 cost and profit-sharing deal. The company will get milestones and royalties based on ex-US sales.
However, Voyager can choose to grant full global commercial rights to Neurocrine, and receive milestone payments and royalties based on global sales.
In case of VY-FXN01, Voyager can exercise the option to co-commercialise the candidate in the US after the data readout of the Phase I trial. This will be covered by a 60/40 cost and profit-sharing arrangement.
The option also allows the company to grant complete US commercialisation rights to Neurocrine in exchange for milestone payments and royalties based on sales in the country.
Neurocrine will fund the development of the remaining two programmes to be determined, and Voyager will have the right to earn milestone payments and royalties based on global sales.