Voyager Therapeutics Stock Jumps 60% After Agreement with Pfizer
Oct 6, 2021 By MarketDepth
Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VYGR) stock skyrocketed more than 60% on Wednesday after the clinical-stage gene therapy company announced an agreement through which Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) may exercise options to license novel capsids generated from Voyager’s RNA-driven TRACERTM (Tropism Redirection of AAV by Cell-type-specific Expression of RNA) screening technology as part of Pfizer’s efforts to develop, manufacture, and commercialize gene therapies, utilizing two undisclosed transgenes to treat certain neurologic and cardiovascular diseases.
“This transaction highlights the potential of our TRACER platform to identify novel AAV capsids that target desired cells and tissues with greater specificity at lower doses and with fewer off-target risks than conventional AAV serotypes,” said Michael Higgins, Interim CEO of Voyager. “We believe that our TRACER platform has the ability to produce not only enhanced blood-brain-barrier penetrant capsids, but also novel capsids with enhanced tropisms across a diversity of tissues and cell types, offering promise to unlock the fullest potential of gene therapies for a wide array of diseases with unmet medical need.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will have the right to evaluate novel capsids selected for central nervous system and cardiac tropisms from Voyager’s TRACER platform and to exercise options to license capsids for exclusive use in Pfizer’s development of AAV gene therapies incorporating two undisclosed transgenes. These transgenes will be distinct from those planned for Voyager’s internal pipeline. Voyager will retain global rights to all licensed capsids for use with other transgenes and to all other applications of its TRACER technology.
“Our collaboration with Voyager will provide Pfizer with access to additional AAV capsids that may help further advance our industry-leading gene therapy portfolio,” said Seng Cheng, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Rare Disease Research Unit. “We are impressed with Voyager’s results to date and are enthusiastic about the potential to utilize these novel capsids to help accelerate the development of new therapeutic options for patients living with certain neurologic and cardiovascular diseases.”
Voyager Therapeutics focuses on the development of treatments for patients suffering from severe neurological diseases. The company’s lead clinical candidate is the VY-AADC, which is in open-label Phase 1b clinical trial for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.