Bioverativ, a spin-off of Biogen's hemophilia business, is getting a boost to its pipeline. Sangamo Biosciences, a pioneering gene editing biotech, said Wednesday two of its hemoglobinopathy programs would transfer to Bioverativ from Biogen.
John Cox, CEO of the newly minted Bioverativ, said that adding Sangamo's programs for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia would bolster the spin-off's pipeline, complementing its focus on rare blood disorders.
Bioverativ expects to launch as an independent, publicly traded biotech company sometime in early 2017.
California-based Sangamo and Biogen partnered back in 2014, agreeing to a global collaboration and license agreement to develop and commercialize genome-editing products for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia.
Under former CEO George Scangos, Biogen had pushed into hemophilia, licensing the drugs Eloctate and Alprolix from Swedish Sobi. But in May, shortly before Scangos was ousted as CEO, Biogen opted to spin off its hemophilia portfolio into a separate company.
Now the collaboration programs with Sangamo will follow and be transferred over to Bioverativ as well.
Jefferies analysts said in an analyst note dated Nov. 30 that they see the transfer as “very positive” for Sangamo and indicative of Bioverativ's confidence in the programs' clinical potential and market opportunity.
Bioverativ's smaller size “likely would ensure a focused and potentially accelerated clinical development,” the analysts said.
Sangamo is a leading company in developing zinc finger nuclease-mediated gene editing technology. It has a treatment for hemophilia B in a Phase 1/2 study and has other programs underway in HIV/AIDS.