The gene therapy company Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NSDQ: VYGR) has reached an agreement with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) to license novel capsids from its RNA-driven TRACER screening technology.
A capsid refers to the protein shell of a virus protecting its genome.
“We believe that our TRACER platform has the ability to produce not only enhanced blood-brain-barrier penetrant capsids, but also novel capsids with enhanced tropisms across a diversity of tissues and cell types, offering promise to unlock the fullest potential of gene therapies for a wide array of diseases with unmet medical need,” Michael Higgins, Interim CEO of Voyager said in a statement.
TRACER is an acronym for Tropism Redirection of AAV by Cell-type-specific Expression of RNA. AAV is an abbreviation of adeno-associated viruses.
VYGR shares jumped 56.7% apiece to $3.87 on the heels of the announcement.
In the past 12 months, the company’s stock had gradually fallen from $11.90 on October 8, 2020, to $2.56 on October 4, 2021.
Under the terms of the agreement, Voyager will receive an initial $30 million upfront payment. It could receive an additional $20 million if Pfizer chooses to exercise two options within 12 months of signing the agreement. In addition, Voyager could receive up to $580 million in additional development, regulatory and commercial milestones. It could also receive royalty payments based on net sales of Pfizer products using Voyager-licensed capsids.
Pfizer reportedly plans to use the novel capsids for gene therapies using two undisclosed transgenes to treat neurologic and cardiovascular conditions.
Filed Under: Cardiovascular, Drug Discovery, Drug Discovery and Development, Neurological Disease