Novartis buys UK's Gyroscope for $1.5 billion to get gene therapy for eye disease

Novartis to buy Gyroscope Therapeutics for up to $1.5 billion
Novartis to buy Gyroscope Therapeutics for up to $1.5 billion   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p> – Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG is buying Gyroscope Therapeutics for up to $1.5 billion, looking to bolster its gene therapy roster with the British firm’s treatment for geographic atrophy, a leading cause of blindness.</p> <p>Gyroscope’s parent company, London-listed healthcare investment firm Syncona Ltd, said on Wednesday that Novartis will pay $800 million upfront and up to $700 million in additional milestone payments.</p> <p>Gyroscope’s treatment for geographic atrophy, a disease of the retina that leads to blindness and for which there is currently no treatment, is in the second phase of clinical development.</p> <p>Gene therapies are currently among the world’s most expensive drugs. They aim to cure diseases by replacing the missing or defective version of a gene in a patient’s cells with an intact gene.</p> <p>Syncona will also receive low single-digit royalty from future sales of Gyroscope’s gene therapy, and cash proceeds of 334 million pounds ($442.9 million) for its stake in the unit.</p> <p>The deal, which Novartis plans to fund with cash in hand, comes after the Swiss drugmaker raised $20.7 billion by selling a nearly one-third voting stake in Roche last month. </p> <p>($1 = 0.7542 pounds)</p> <p/> </div>