February 15, 2018 / 7:52 AM / 7 months ago

Oxford BioMedica wins second $100 million gene therapy contract

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Oxford BioMedica has won a second $100 million contract to supply gene therapy material, this time from Bioverativ, which agreed last month to be acquired by Sanofi for $11.6 billion.

Oxford Bio said on Thursday it would receive $5 million upfront and would be eligible for various milestone payments, potentially worth in excess of $100 million, plus royalties on sales of hemophilia therapies that Bioverativ is developing.

The deal follows a similar $100 million contract last year to supply lentiviral vectors, which are used to deliver DNA into cells, for Novartis’s pioneering leukemia treatment Kymriah.

Oxford Bio, which listed in London in 1996 after being spun out of research at the University of Oxford, has faced a slow road to profit, mirroring the waxing and waning of the gene therapy field over two decades.

Now, however, gene and cell therapy is coming of age, with the first products approved last year in the United States and more on the way.

Peel Hunt analyst Amy Walker, who rates the stock a buy, said the new deal cemented her view that Oxford Bio’s technology was “at the forefront of the gene and cell therapy revolution”.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Holmes

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