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Axovant has licensed the rights for a gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease from Oxford BioMedica. With a new chief technology officer and additional funds, the Basel pharmaceutical company is set to strengthen the gene therapy field.
The gene therapy AXO-Lenti-PD, formerly OXB-102, from Oxford BioMedica is currently in the development phase, according to a statement from Axovant. The Basel pharmaceutical company has now licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the therapy, and expects to initiate a Phase I/II study by the end of 2018.
Axovant obtained the rights to AXO-Lenti-PD, as well as its predecessor ProSavin, for an initial payment of 30 million U.S. dollars in cash, with potential commercial milestone payments of up to 812 million dollars. Axovant’s parent company Roivant has agreed to purchase 25 million dollars of Axovant common shares to support clinical development.
AXO-Lenti-PD is an investigational gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease that delivers three genes encoding a critical set of enzymes required for dopamine synthesis in the brain and is designed to provide patient benefit for multiple years.
To expand its gene therapy programs, Axovant has hired Fraser Wright as chief technology officer. He brings with him more than 20 years’ experience in the sector. “AXO-Lenti-PD is a strong foundation for Axovant’s new pipeline, and I am excited to begin preparing the Phase 1/2 clinical study in advanced Parkinson’s disease later this year,” commented Wright in the statement.
Axovant will continue to pursue promising new therapeutic approaches as part of its long-term goal of becoming a leader in the development and commercialization of innovative new medicines for neurological indications, according to CEO Pavan Cheruvu.