Biogen Collaborates With Capsigen To Develop New Gene Therapies

Biogen (BIIB) has entered into a research collaboration with Capsigen Inc. to develop novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids. These capsids can help in developing gene therapies targeted at central nervous system (CNS) and neuromuscular disorders.

Capsids are protein coats that protect and enable the delivery of the genetic payload of a virus into host cells. The collaboration will make use of Capsigen’s screening platform and technology and Biogen’s drug development, manufacturing, and marketing capacities to develop gene therapies.

Biogen Head of R&D Alfred Sandrock, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., said, “Through this collaboration, we aim to solve key technological challenges in the delivery of gene therapies to target tissues. One of our priorities for technology innovation is the discovery of AAV capsids with improved delivery profiles.” (See Biogen stock analysis on TipRanks)

Sandrock added, “We are investing for the long-term by building platform capabilities and advanced manufacturing technologies with the goal of accelerating our efforts in gene therapy.”

Under the agreement, Capsigen will receive a $15 million upfront payment, and may receive up to $42 million in research milestone payments.

Furthermore, Capsigen can receive additional development and commercial payments of up to $1.25 billion along with royalties on future product sales.

For Biogen, this deal grants an exclusive license under Capsigen’s in-house technology for an unrevealed number of CNS and neuromuscular disease targets.

On April 23, Robert W. Baird analyst Brian Skorney reiterated a Sell rating on BIIB stock with a $216 price target (21.6% potential downside).

Skorney believes the quarterly performance “offered nothing new.”

Based on 9 Buys, 10 Holds and 2 Sells, consensus on the Street is that Biogen is a Moderate Buy. The average analyst price target of $307.78 implies 11.7% upside potential. Shares have gained about 12.6% so far this year.

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