Pfizer bets on Wave with drug development deal
- Pfizer has put down $40 million upfront for a collaboration deal with Cambridge, MA-based Wave Life Sciences to develop up to five genetic therapies for metabolic diseases.
- If all five therapeutic development programs are successfully developed, the deal could be worth up to $871 million for Wave through R&D and sales milestones.
- Wave is an up-and-coming biotech, and went public in November 2015 for $102 million. Ahead of the IPO, Wave completed two rounds of venture-backed funding which raised $84 million.
Pfizer is in the market for a substantial acquisition—possibly Medivation, which markets the blockbuster cancer drug, Xtandi. However, Pfizer is also continuing to partner with biotechs like Wave, hoping new technologies will help fill its pipeline.
Wave focuses on neurological and neuromuscular diseases, but has looked to partner with other companies in other therapeutic spaces. The $40 million upfront will help Wave fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements into 2019, said CEO Paul Bolno.
The deal also gives Wave rights to use Pfizer’s hepatic targeting technology, which the biotech can use in other programs outside of the collaboration deal. However, Pfizer would receive undisclosed milestone payments and royalties from any program Wave advance with this technology.
Two of the five programs have already been designated by the two companies and include Wave’s apolipoprotein C-III program. The remaining three will be declared within the next 18 months.