October 7, 2021 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Shares of Voyager Therapeutics Inc. traded 51% higher after the company reported it entered into a license and option agreement with Pfizer Inc. for two of its TRACER AAV capsids that will be utilized to enhance Pfizer’s neurologic and cardiovascular gene therapy programs. Voyager will receive an upfront payment of $30 million and is eligible to receive up to $600 million more plus product sales-based royalties, if all options are exercised and certain milestones are achieved.
Clinical-stage gene therapy company Voyager Therapeutics Inc. (VYGR:NASDAQ), which is focused on the development of treatments for central nervous system (CNS) diseases and next-generation adeno-associated virus (AAV) platform technologies, today announced “an agreement through which Pfizer Inc. (PFE:NYSE) may exercise options to license novel capsids generated from Voyager’s RNA-driven TRACER(TM) (Tropism Redirection of AAV by Cell-type-specific Expression of RNA) screening technology as part of Pfizer’s efforts to develop, manufacture, and commercialize gene therapies, utilizing two undisclosed transgenes to treat certain neurologic and cardiovascular diseases.”
Voyager Therapeutics’ Interim CEO Michael Higgins commented, “This transaction highlights the potential of our TRACER platform to identify novel AAV capsids that target desired cells and tissues with greater specificity at lower doses and with fewer off-target risks than conventional AAV serotypes…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.”
Seng Cheng, Ph.D., SVP and Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Rare Disease Research Unit remarked, “Our collaboration with Voyager will provide Pfizer with access to additional AAV capsids that may help further advance our industry-leading gene therapy portfolio…We are impressed with Voyager’s results to date and are enthusiastic about the potential to utilize these novel capsids to help accelerate the development of new therapeutic options for patients living with certain neurologic and cardiovascular diseases.”
Voyager claimed that “proprietary AAV capsids derived from Voyager’s TRACER platform have demonstrated superior blood-brain-barrier penetration, enhanced cardiac muscle tropism, and increased transgene expression in target tissues compared to conventional AAV capsids as measured in non-human primates (NHPs).”
Execution of the agreement provides Pfizer with the rights to select and evaluate novel capsids for CNS and cardiac tropisms from Voyager’s TRACER platform. In addition, Pfizer will be able to exercise options to exclusively license those capsids for its AAV gene therapies development efforts that incorporate two specific undisclosed transgenes.
Under the terms of the agreement, Voyager will retain the full global rights to all other licensed capsids for use with other transgenes in its development pipeline as well as all other applications of its TRACER technology.
The agreement stipulates that Pfizer is to pay Voyager $30 million upfront and an additional $20 million in exercise fees for two options, should Pfizer elect to exercise those options which are valid for a period of 12 months from signing. The report indicated that, “Voyager will also be eligible to earn up to $580 million in total development, regulatory and commercial milestones associated with licensed products incorporating the two undisclosed Pfizer transgenes together with a Voyager licensed capsid.” On top of the develop and milestone payments, the firm may be entitled to receive mid- to high-single-digit tiered royalties from net sales of Pfizer’s products that contain the licensed capsids.
The company explained that its TRACERTM AAV capsid discovery system is “a broadly applicable, RNA-based functional screening platform that allows for rapid in vivo evolution of AAV capsids with enhanced tropisms and cell- and tissue-specific transduction properties in multiple species, including non-human primates (NHPs).”
Voyager Therapeutics is based in Cambridge, Mass., and is actively engaged in the development of next generation adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapies to treat devastating diseases. The company stated that, “proprietary capsids born from its TRACER screening platform are powering a rich early-stage pipeline of new and second-generation programs and may elevate the field to overcome the limitations of conventional gene therapy vectors across neurologic disorders and other therapeutic areas.” The firm at present is largely focused on several severe neurological diseases including Huntington’s disease, spinal muscular atrophy and SOD1, which is a monogenic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Pfizer is headquartered in New York, N.Y., and is a research-based global biopharma company involved in discovery, development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and other various healthcare products. The firm’s global portfolio includes dozens of brand prescription medications including Celebrex, Eliquis, Lipitor, Prevnar 13, Pristiq, Viagra, and Xeljanz. Pfizer has a market cap exceeding $237 billion.
Voyager Therapeutics began the day with a market cap of around $93.7 million with approximately 37.94 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 2.3%. VYGR shares opened more than 60% higher today at $3.99 (+$1.52, +61.54%) over yesterday’s $2.47 closing price. The stock has traded today between $3.49 and $4.12 per share and is currently trading at $3.74 (+$1.27, +51.42%).
1) Stephen Hytha compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor. He or members of his household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. He or members of his household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
2) The following companies mentioned in this article are billboard sponsors of Streetwise Reports: None. Click here for important disclosures about sponsor fees.
3) Comments and opinions expressed are those of the specific experts and not of Streetwise Reports or its officers. The information provided above is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security.
5) From time to time, Streetwise Reports LLC and its directors, officers, employees or members of their families, as well as persons interviewed for articles and interviews on the site, may have a long or short position in securities mentioned. Directors, officers, employees or members of their immediate families are prohibited from making purchases and/or sales of those securities in the open market or otherwise from the time of the decision to publish an article until three business days after the publication of the article. The foregoing prohibition does not apply to articles that in substance only restate previously published company releases.
6) This article does not constitute medical advice. Officers, employees and contributors to Streetwise Reports are not licensed medical professionals. Readers should always contact their healthcare professionals for medical advice.
This news is published on the Investorideas.com Newswire – a global digital news source for investors and business leaders
Disclaimer/Disclosure: Investorideas.com is a digital publisher of third party sourced news, articles and equity research as well as creates original content, including video, interviews and articles. Original content created by investorideas is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Our site does not make recommendations for purchases or sale of stocks, services or products. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. All investing involves risk and possible losses. This site is currently compensated for news publication and distribution, social media and marketing, content creation and more. Disclosure is posted for each compensated news release, content published /created if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and was published for the sole interest of our readers and followers. Contact management and IR of each company directly regarding specific questions.
More disclaimer info: https://www.investorideas.com/About/Disclaimer.asp Learn more about publishing your news release and our other news services on the Investorideas.com newswire https://www.investorideas.com/News-Upload/ and tickertagstocknews.com
BiotechIndustryStocks.com – investing ideas in biotechnology stocks, medical technology and life sciences
Like Biotech Stocks? View our Biotech Stocks Directory