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Gene genies: Oxford Biomedica and Homology Medicines create AAV business

Leading gene and cell therapy group, Oxford Biomedica, and Homology Medicines, have announced that the companies will establish a high-performing Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Manufacturing and Innovation Business in the US.

Oxford Biomedica aims to establish a presence across the pond and will offer pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing expertise in AAV and lentiviral-based gene therapies. In addition, the deal will provide access to Homology’s proven end-to-end manufacturing toolbox.

Under the terms of the agreement, Oxford Bionmedica will pay Homology $130m upfront and invest $50m to fund Oxford Biomedica Solutions, in return for an 80% ownership stake, while Homology will also own 20% of the new company. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, depending on the satisfaction of certain closing conditions.

Dr Roch Doliveux, Chair and interim CEO of Oxford Biomedica, commented on the development: “Accessing Homology Medicines’ unique AAV capabilities is a major advancement in Oxford Biomedica’s goal to become an innovative global viral vector leader that provides solutions to Cell and Gene Therapy (C>) Biotech and Biopharma companies for their process development and manufacturing needs across key viral vectors.

He added: “Process Development/CMC being one of the most important critical success factors to ensure efficacy, safety and affordability of C>, Oxford Biomedica is in a strong position to enable our customers to bring their new medicines to many more patients and change their lives.

“We look forward to working with Homology’s impressive team and uniquely robust processes to achieve world-leadership as a provider of AAV solutions in addition to enhancing our leadership in lentiviral vectors. Having a US base brings us closer to customers, talent, innovation in academia and pools of capital all of which will allow growth and building a market leadership position.”