Oxford BioMedica said today it will partner with Bioverativ to develop and manufacture lentiviral vectors designed to treat hemophilia, through a collaboration that could generate up to $105 million-plus for Oxford BioMedica.
Bioverativ—which is being acquired by Sanofi for approximately $11.6 billion—has agreed to license Oxford BioMedica’s LentiVector® Enabled technology, as well as its industrial-scale manufacturing technology.
LentiVector is a lentiviral-based gene delivery system designed to overcome safety and delivery challenges associated with earlier-generation vectors. According to Oxford BioMedica, the platform’s advantages include large therapeutic payloads (up to 9 kb), permanent modification of dividing and nondividing cells, and no pre-existing immunity
The platform can also integrate genes into nondividing cells, including in the brain and retina, with the company citing long-term studies suggesting gene expression may be maintained indefinitely—offering the prospect of permanent therapeutic benefit following a single administration.
LentiVector is also a research tool, with applications in transgenesis, stem cell manipulation, somatic disease models, target validation, and gene discovery.
Oxford BioMedica CTO James Miskin, Ph.D., told GEN last year that Oxford BioMedica developed its vector manufacturing capacity to its current scale through £7.7 million ($10.8 million) in catalytic funding, which was provided partly as a grant and partly as a loan by the U.K. government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).
Bioverativ has agreed to pay Oxford BioMedica $5 million upfront, up to $100 million in payments tied to achieving unspecified milestones, and undisclosed additional royalties on net sales of Bioverativ lentiviral hemophilia products.
Bioverativ also agreed to fund process development and scale-up activities for its lentiviral vector hemophilia products at Oxford BioMedica.