$100m Worth Deal with Meiragtx to Enhance the J&J Gene Therapy Unit

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson has taken a giant leap into gene therapy, with a collaboration deal with UK based biotech company MeiraGTx. The company is also concentrating on working on gene therapies for salivary gland problems and neurodegenerative diseases.

The deal includes licensing of two inherited retinal disorder candidate for a value of $100m, and is proffering nearly $340m additional payments on progress towards market. The returns of this deal include the global rights of the gene therapies for J&J. The candidates for the conditions achromatopsia (ACHM) caused by the mutation of CNGB3 or CNGA3 and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) caused by RPGR gene mutation are in clinical trial phase 1/2.

MeiraGTx and J&J will also work in collaboration on new targets for other inherited conditions. J&J has not been keenly interested in eye disorders, but this deal illustrates rising attention from big pharma due to increasing focus on commercial issues related to gene therapy.

Other gene therapies for the eye diseases are as follows.

Gene Therapies for Eye Diseases

Product Company Pharma class Status
NSR-REP1 Nightstar Therapeutics AAV encoding REP1 gene therapy Phase III
SPK-7001 Spark Therapeutics Rab escort protein 1 gene therapy Phase II
RGX-314 Regenxbio Retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator gene therapy Phase I
Luxturna Spark/Novartis RPE65 gene therapy Marketed
NSR-RPGR Nightstar Therapeutics RPGR gene therapy Phase II
Allergan-Editas Medicine Eye Disease Program Editas Medicine Gene therapy Research project


– Rikitha K Murthy,
Research Analyst,
Infoholic Research