- Gene therapy specialist Regenxbio Inc. said Friday it will acquire Dimension Therapeutics, Inc. in an all-stock deal that values the struggling Cambridge, MA-based biotech at $86 million, a little more than a third of what the company was worth at its most recent peak in September of last year.
- The deal will give Regenxbio access to one clinical candidate and several preclinical assets in metabolic diseases and hemophilia, all of which use an AAV vector delivery system that Regenxbio had licensed to Dimension under a previous agreement.
- Safety concerns and lackluster results for Dimension's lead hemophilia B candidate battered the company's share price earlier this year. Dimension has since shuttered that program and announced it would lay off roughly 25% of its workforce as it sought to pivot from the setback.
Under the deal, Dimension will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Regenxbio. Shareholders in Dimension will receive 0.1573 shares in Regenxbio for each share held in Dimension, resulting in a roughly 11% ownership stake of the combined entity.
Regenxbio is already familiar with Dimension, having licensed out some of its technology to the gene therapy biotech under previous agreements. Now, by acquiring Dimension, Regenxbio will fill out its pipeline with several assets all using its own proprietary NAV AAV8 vector to deliver copies of the genes in question to liver cells.
DTX301, now Dimension's lead candidate after the failure of its hemophilia B candidate earlier this year, is designed to treat ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency and is being tested in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial.
Another candidate, DTX401, uses the same delivery platform to administer a copy of the glucose-6-phosphatase gene to liver cells in an effort to treat glycogen storage disease type 1a.
"We believe that DTX301 and DTX401 are product candidates that address diseases with high unmet need and will become an important part of a strong internal pipeline at Regenxbio that has the potential to achieve multiple milestones through the end of 2018," said company CEO Kenneth Mills.
Shares in Regnexbio fell by nearly 8% to $20.15 apiece in Friday morning trading on news of the acquisition, while shares in Dimension more than doubled to trade at $3 per share.