S&P Global: ViGeneron collaborates with Biogen to develop gene therapies for eye diseases

ViGeneron GmbH is collaborating with Biogen Inc. to develop gene therapies for the treatment of inherited eye diseases.

The companies will use Germany-based ViGeneron’s proprietary vgAAV gene therapy vector technology to efficiently transduce retinal cells by injecting medicine into the eye.

ViGeneron, a gene therapy developer, will focus on optimizing and validating therapies for an undisclosed target to treat inherited eye disease, according to the companies’ Jan. 5 news release. Biogen may add an additional target within two years. The companies will jointly conduct a proof-of-concept study. Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen will be responsible for all further development and commercialization of experimental medicines that will be selected.

ViGeneron is entitled to receive an up-front payment and research and development funding from Biogen, as well as possible milestone payments and royalties based on any future sales. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Biogen has attempted to enter the field of gene therapy for eye disease before, in a collaboration with Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. in 2015 that was ultimately terminated after a failed study. In 2019, Biogen tried again through the $800 million acquisition of London-based gene-therapy maker Nightstar Therapeutics Limited.