Pfizer buys gene therapy company Bamboo Therapeutics under deal worth up to $645 million

Pfizer on Monday said that it acquired the remaining stake in gene therapy company Bamboo Therapeutics it does not currently own in a deal valued at potentially as much as $645 million. Under the agreed terms, Pfizer will pay Bamboo an upfront payment of $150 million, with the latter eligible for milestones totalling $495 million. Pfizer previously purchased a 22-percent stake in Bamboo for $43 million. 

"The field of gene therapy research has made tremendous strides in recent years, and we are pleased to be able to further enhance our leadership position in this area through this transaction with Bamboo," explained Pfizer R&D president Mikael Dolsten, adding "we believe that gene therapy holds the promise of bringing true disease modification for patients suffering from devastating diseases." 

Pfizer noted that Bamboo's portfolio features recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-based gene therapies that will complement its rare disease and gene therapy portfolios, including a pre-clinical asset for Duchenne muscular dystrophy as well as pre-clinical assets for Friedreich's ataxia and Canavan disease and a Phase I asset for giant axonal neuropathy. The company added that the acquisition will include an 11 000-square-foot manufacturing facility used to develop clinical trial materials. 

The acquisition comes after Pfizer entered into a collaboration with Spark Therapeutics to develop the investigational haemophilia B treatment SPK-9001, which features a bio-engineered rAAV vector, in 2014 (for related analysis, see ViewPoints: SPK-9001 continues to validate Pfizer’s belief, pad Spark’s war chest). The company later inked a deal with 4D Molecular Therapeutics to jointly discover and develop targeted and proprietary next-generation AAV vectors for cardiac diseases. 

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