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Voyager Therapeutics sells gene therapy programs to Neurocrine Biosciences for $165M

Under the deal’s terms, Neurocrine will pay Voyager in cash, which includes $115 million upfront and a $50 million equity investment

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The two gene therapy programs being sold are aimed at Parkinson's disease and Friedreich's ataxia, a rare neurological disease

Shares of Voyager Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VYGR) spiked Tuesday after the biotech said it had forged a strategic development and commercialization partnership with Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX) worth $165 million.

The deal focuses on the transfer to Neurocrine of two gene therapy programs to start, VY-AADC for Parkinson’s disease and VY-FXN01 for Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare, inherited neurological disease, as well as two other programs which have yet to be announced.

In response, Voyager shares climbed 35% to $10.86 in afternoon trade Tuesday.

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Under the agreement’s terms, Neurocrine will pay Voyager $165 million in cash, which includes a $115 million upfront payment and a $50 million equity investment at a Voyager per-share price of $11.96. On top of this, Voyager may also earn up to $1.7 billion in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments across the four programs.

Neurocrine will fund the clinical development of the Phase 2/3 program for the Parkinson’s therapy VY-AADC. But once the Phase 2 data are collected, Voyager has the option to either co-commercialize VY-AADC in the US and divide the costs or profits evenly or cede the global rights to Neurocrine in exchange for milestones and royalties.

Neurocrine will also provide money for the development through the Phase 1 clinical trial of VY-FXN01. Once the data is in, similar rules apply and Voyager can either co-commercialize the therapy for Friedreich’s ataxia in the US under a 60/40 cost and profit-sharing arrangement or offload full US commercial rights to Neurocrine in exchange for milestone payments and royalties based on sales.

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Voyager Therapeutics is a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing treatments for severe neurological diseases.

Neurocrine Biosciences is headquartered in San Diego, California and specializes in therapies for neurological and endocrine-based diseases and disorders.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at ellen@proactiveinvestors.com

Quick facts: Voyager Therapeutics Inc

Price: 11.16 USD

NASDAQ:VYGR
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $417.73 m
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