Sangamo and Shire Amend Contract to Expedite Development of ZFP Therapeutics for Huntington’s Disease

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Sangamo BioSciences, Inc., a leader in therapeutic genome editing, recently announced it has agreed to amend its January 2012 collaboration and licensing agreement with Shire to accelerate the development of ZFP Therapeutics geared towards treated hemophilia A and B and Huntington’s disease.

This agreement follows the companies’ mutual decision to refocus their research and development initiatives in areas each company is currently interested in. According to the contract, Sangamo will reacquire exclusive global rights to gene targets for the advancement, clinical study and commercialization of ZFP Therapeutics for hemophilia A and B. Shire will still hold the rights to and will proceed with developing ZFP Therapeutic candidates for Huntington’s disease, along with an additional unnamed gene target. Shire’s rights with regard to other gene targets resulting from the original agreement will revert to Sangamo.

“Sangamo has greatly benefited from our collaboration with Shire, whose financial support has significantly aided in the development of our in vivo protein replacement platform, or IVPRP, which forms the basis of our hemophilia and lysosomal storage disorder programs,” said Edward Lanphier, Sangamo’s president and chief executive officer. “This restructuring allows us to accelerate the development of our potentially curative hemophilia A and B programs. We will also continue to leverage the potential of our powerful IVPRP for development of ZFP Therapeutics for other monogenic diseases, and remain on track to file Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for the hemophilia B program and the first of our lysosomal storage disorder programs by the end of 2015.”

The agreement also stipulates that each party is responsible for shouldering expenses incurred by its own programs and will duly reimburse its collaborator for any ongoing services provided. Shire was granted a right of first negotiation to license Sangamo’s hemophilia A and B programs. No milestone payments will be issued on any program and both companies have agreed to pay specific royalties to the other party on top of commercial sales up to a preset maximum cap. Additional financial details of the agreement will not be disclosed.