NEW YORK – Voyager Therapeutics on Tuesday said it has struck a capsid license and collaboration deal with Novartis to develop gene therapies for Huntington's disease and spinal muscular atrophy.
As part of the deal, Novartis will have a target-exclusive license to access Voyager's adeno-associated virus capsids developed with its capsid discovery platform called Tropism Redirection of AAV by Cell-type-specific Expression of RNA (TRACER) as well as other intellectual property related to the two diseases. Novartis is responsible for development and commercialization of a candidate for spinal muscular atrophy, while Voyager is responsible for preclinical advancement of a Huntington's disease candidate, which Novartis will take over once it reaches clinical development and commercialization.
Voyager will receive upfront consideration of $100 million, including $20 million of newly issued equity. Voyager is also eligible to receive up to $1.2 billion in preclinical, development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties based on global net sales of products that incorporate the company's TRACER capsids.
The $100 million upfront consideration will strengthen Voyager's balance sheet and extend its runway into mid-2026, according to company CEO Alfred Sandrock.
"Combining the proven capabilities of Novartis in gene therapy development and commercialization with Voyager's next-generation TRACER capsids and payloads could enable the advancement of important new therapies for patients," he said in a statement. Novartis previously licensed capsids from Voyager's TRACER platform for use in gene therapies for two undisclosed neurological disease targets.