Fierce Biotech: Hunting for next big eye disease drug, Regeneron gets deeper into gene therapies with ViGeneron pact

Regeneron is dipping its toe deeper into the gene therapy waters, teaming up with ViGeneron to work on a retinal disease prospect based on engineered recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors (vgAAVs).

While best known for its antibody work, Regeneron has a history of exploring other modalities through dealmaking, inking a $640 million gene therapy pact with Avalanche Biotechnologies back in 2014 and, more recently, partnering with Decibel Therapeutics on a hearing loss candidate. The Avalanche deal failed to give Regeneron the hoped-for successor to Eylea but it clearly remains open to the modality.

That openness has manifested in a deal with ViGeneron, a German biotech with a platform designed to overcome the limitations of AAV-based gene therapies. ViGeneron and Regeneron will work to develop vgAAV candidates against an undisclosed inherited retinal disease target.