Following the news on 4th March 2019 that US-based biotechnology company, Biogen, has agreed to acquire London-based clinical-stage gene therapy company, Nightstar Therapeutics, which is focused on adeno-associated virus treatments for inherited retinal disorders, for approximately $800m,
Maura Musciacco, MSc, Neurology & Ophthalmology Director at GlobalData, offers her view:
“Biogen continues its diversification strategy through the acquisition of Nightstar Therapeutics. The deal will allow Biogen to catapult itself into the ophthalmology market, a new segment which the company had been chasing to enter in the past already. Although the deal will not have an immediate impact on Biogen’s bottom line, as Nightstar is a clinical-stage company, it will inherit its pipeline of rare inherited retinal diseases.
“Notably, this deal comes only one week after Roche’s acquisition of Spark Therapeutics, another gene therapy specialist, and less than a year ago, Novartis also showed interest in building its gene therapy portfolio through its acquisition of AveXis. Despite being a field typically associated with small specialist players, the recent news is a strong sign that big pharma is ready to splash the cash and pay significant premiums to expand its rare disease offering.”