Biogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGEN) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Targeted Genetics Corporation (NASDAQ: TGEN) of Seattle, WA, to establish a multi-product development and commercialization collaboration. This new collaboration leverages Biogen’s early research investment in gene therapy research in Genovo, a privately held gene therapy company that signed a definitive merger agreement today with Targeted Genetics.
James C. Mullen, Biogen’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “This is the next chapter in Biogen’s long-term commitment to gene therapy. We believe that gene therapy holds enormous potential for treating a wide variety of diseases. As Biogen expands its product opportunities to include additional gene therapy products, we believe that a collaboration with Targeted Genetics will provide us with access to cutting edge technologies and demonstrated expertise in gene therapy product development. The Company has established impressive scientific and management teams and built substantial infrastructure for product development and manufacturing. We look forward to leveraging the multiple opportunities that this collaboration provides to both organizations.
“Combining the intellectual property and technology of these two organizations produces a critical mass in this emerging field of research that will enable the parties to more fully develop new gene therapies. In addition, the new collaboration should accelerate Biogen’s current gene therapy research and development program in oncology with Interferon beta 1-a. Our pre-clinical results in glioma and prostate and colon cancer were very promising and we are planning to begin gene therapy clinical trials of Interferon beta-1a next year in glioma. Under the agreement, Targeted Genetics will develop up to four additional gene therapy product candidates for Biogen over the next three years.”
Biogen entered into an agreement with Genovo in 1995. As a current shareholder, Biogen will receive Targeted Genetics stock in exchange for its shares of Genovo. Upon closing of the acquisition, Biogen will own approximately 9 percent of Targeted Genetics’ outstanding common stock. The collaboration between Targeted Genetics and Biogen will become effective upon the closing of the acquisition.
In addition to historical information, this press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Reference is made in particular to statements regarding the potential results of drug development and the commercial opportunities for gene therapy products. These statements are based on the Company’s current expectations. Drug development involves a high degree of risk. There are many factors which could cause actual results to different materially from the Company’s current expectations, including the technical hurdles associated with drug research and development, the risks and uncertainties associated with showing that a product is safe and effective at each stage of the clinical trial process, meeting applicable regulatory standards and proceeding through the regulatory approval process, obtaining and maintaining necessary patents and licenses, producing product in commercial quantities at reasonable costs, receiving reimbursement coverage for the product, and competing successfully against other products, as well as the other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Biogen, Inc., winner of the 1998 U.S. National Medal of Technology, is a biopharmaceutical company principally engaged in discovering and developing drugs for human healthcare through genetic engineering. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, the Company’s revenues are generated from U.S. and European sales of AVONEX® (Interferon beta-1a) for treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, and from the worldwide sales by licensees of a number of products, including alpha interferon and hepatitis B vaccines and diagnostic products ( Prescribing Information ). Biogen’s research and development activities are focused on novel products for multiple sclerosis, inflammatory, respiratory, kidney and cardiovascular diseases and in developmental biology and gene therapy. For copies of press releases and additional information about the Company, please consult Biogen’s Homepage on the World Wide Web at http://www.biogen.com