Biogen to buy gene therapy co focused on rare eye disease

March 4, 2019

Biogen has agreed to buy British gene-therapy company Nightstar Therapeutics, accelerating Biogen's entry into the emerging growth area of eye diseases.

The $877 million all-cash deal will give Biogen access to Nightstar's lead asset, NSR-REP1, a gene therapy for choroideremia — a rare, inherited eye disease that leads to blindness. The treatment is currently undergoing late-stage clinical trials.

Nightstar’s second clinical program is NSR-RPGR for the treatment of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP), which is also a rare inherited retinal disease primarily affecting males with no approved treatments.

“With this proposed acquisition, we are continuing to bolster our pipeline and further execute on our strategy to develop and expand a multi-franchise neuroscience pipeline across complementary modalities. Nightstar would accelerate our entry into ophthalmology by contributing two mid- to late-stage gene therapy assets, with the potential to create long-term shareholder value,” said Michel Vounatsos, Biogen’s CEO.

Read the press release