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Regeneron Expands Deal With Intellia for Hemophilia Treatments

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Zacks Equity Research
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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. REGN announced that it has expanded its existing collaboration with Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. NTLA.

Per the terms, the companies will co-develop potential hemophilia A and B treatments using their jointly-owned targeted transgene insertion capabilities.
Regeneron will gain rights to develop products for additional in vivo CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutic targets. The company will also get non-exclusive rights to independently develop and commercialize ex vivo gene-edited products.

In exchange, Intellia will receive an upfront payment of $70 million. Regeneron will make an additional equity investment in Intellia of $30 million at $32.42 per share.

Both companies had entered into a licensing and collaboration agreement to advance CRISPR/Cas gene-editing technology for in vivo therapeutic development in 2016.

The expansion allows the companies to better leverage their jointly-developed targeted transgene insertion capabilities and potentially accelerate efforts to discover and develop new therapeutics, including products for hemophilia A and B. The companies demonstrated the first CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeted transgene insertion in the liver of non-human primates, generated normal or higher levels of circulating human Factor IX in preclinical studies. Factor IX is a blood-clotting protein that is missing or defective in hemophilia B patients. These results suggest that transgene insertion may provide a functional Factor IX gene.

The amended agreement extends the collaboration between the companies until April 2024 and grants Regeneron an option to renew for an additional two years. Regeneron will have the rights to discover and develop CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutic products for an additional five in vivo liver targets for a total of up to 15 targets. Per the terms of the original agreement, Regeneron will pay potential royalties and milestone payments for the in vivo products it independently develops. In addition, it will receive a royalty-bearing, non-exclusive license to certain Intellia intellectual property to develop and commercialize up to 10 ex vivo CRISPR/Cas9 products in defined cell types.

Regeneron’s share price has surged 59.7% in the year so far compared with 9.1% growth for the industry. Shares of Intellia surged on the news, as investors are positive on the expansion of the collaboration.

 

We remind investors that Regeneron was in the news last week after partner Sanofi SNY sold its entire equity investment in the former (excluding 400,000 Regeneron shares, which Sanofi is retaining) for total gross proceeds of $11.7 billion.

Regeneron has had a great year so far, soaring high and pioneering the race for a possible coronavirus treatment along with other biotechs like Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD. Regeneron is advancing REGN-COV2, a novel investigational antibody cocktail treatment designed to prevent and treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Last month, the company moved its leading neutralizing antibodies into pre-clinical and clinical-scale cell production lines and plans to begin clinical studies in June 2020.

Regeneron currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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