Pfizer’s interest in the promising gene therapy field continued Monday after the pharmaceutical firm revealed it bought Bamboo Therapeutics.
The deal is worth an estimated $700 million. Pfizer will acquire all of Bamboo’s assets upfront for $150 million with the option of additional milestone payments worth $495 million based on the success of the startup’s therapies as they progress through clinical development.
The Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based company is specializing in treatments for central nervous system disorders and neuromuscular conditions, reported Bloomberg.
Bamboo started patient enrollment for one trial testing its candidate for a nerve-cell disorder known as giant axonal neuropathy, which can inflict a gradual decline in mental function and movement due to malfunctioning nerve cells. Another therapy targeting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is also under development.
Overall, Pfizer will take control of the development process for these treatments and gain access to Bamboo’s 11,000-square-foot manufacturing facility where the company can monitor the production of these potent medicines.
Gene therapy is still an evolving field of healthcare. Its core principle is to repair defective genes that cause certain diseases by replacing them with new, healthy ones. Bamboo’s specialty is using a viral vector to deliver functioning genes to patients’ cells in an efficient manner, according to Bloomberg.
Pfizer has another partnership with Spark Therapeutics signifying the drug giant’s interest in this burgeoning field. It’s working with Spark on creating a gene therapy for Hemophilia B that was recently granted a Breakthrough Designation from the FDA.