Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Laboratoires Théa Acquires Two Ophthalmic RNA Drugs From ProQR Therapeutics

NEW YORK – ProQR Therapeutics, a Dutch biotechnology firm developing RNA therapies, on Tuesday said it has sold two of its drugs to French pharmaceutical company Laboratoires Théa.

Laboratoires Théa, which develops eye care products, will pay ProQR €12.5 million ($13.7 million) upfront for its late-stage ophthalmic candidates sepofarsen and ultevursen. In the deal, slated to close in the third quarter, ProQR is also eligible to receive up to €135 million in development, regulatory, and commercial payments as well as additional payouts based on commercial sales of these drugs in the US and EU.

Selling sepofarsen and ultevursen to Laboratoires Théa will enable ProQR to focus on further developing its Axiomer RNA-editing technology and its pipeline of drugs for genetic diseases originating in the liver. "We look forward to continuing to advance our Axiomer RNA editing platform, with an initial focus on targets for cholestatic and cardiovascular diseases, as we seek to develop a new class of therapies for patients with high unmet need," ProQR Founder and CEO Daniel de Boer said in a statement.

Laboratoires Théa plans to set up a dedicated team specializing in inherited retinal disorders to manage development of sepofarsen and ultevursen. 

Sepofarsen is an investigational RNA therapy designed to restore vision in patients with Leber congenital amaurosis 10, which is caused by a mutation in the CEP290 gene that leads to abnormal splicing of messenger RNA and nonfunctional CEP290 proteins. ProQR developed the intravitreally injected drug to enable normal mRNA splicing and production of functional CEP290 proteins.

Ultevursen, another investigational, intravitreally injected RNA therapy, is under development for treating Usher syndrome type 2a and non-syndromic retinitis pigmentosa due to mutations in exon 13 of the USH2A gene. The exon-skipping drug aims to halt or reverse vision loss by restoring functional usherin proteins.

Lazard is ProQR's financial adviser in the deal, and Allen & Overy is its legal adviser. Dentons is Laboratoires Théa's legal adviser.