Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC) of Gainsville, Florida recently won the Southeast Strategic Deal of the Year award at Charleston, South Carolina’s Southeast BIO (SEBIO) Investor & Partnering Forum, honoring its collaboration and license agreement with Biogen.
AGTC’s contract with Biogen, announced in July, addresses gene-based therapies for ophthalmic diseases, with an emphasis on development of clinical and pre-clinical stage candidates for retinal disorders that can cause blindness.
The arrangement covers options for early stage discovery programs in two ophthalmic diseases and one non-ophthalmic condition, an equity investment in AGTC by Biogen, and a license agreement for manufacturing rights.
"On behalf of the SEBIO Awards Committee, I would like to congratulate AGTC on this collaboration, which will result in benefits for patients worldwide through the combination of AGTC's experience in gene therapy and ophthalmology with Biogen's strength and experience in developing and marketing therapies for complex and rare diseases," Dr. Thomas H. Callaway, HealthQuest Capital venture partner and SEBIO 2015 awards committee chair, said.
As a clinical-stage biotechnology firm, AGTC develops products for patients with severe ophthalmological diseases. Its addresses genetically inherited orphan diseases of the eye caused by single gene mutations affecting visual function that currently lack successful treatments.
"We're very pleased to be recognized by the community for our strategic collaboration that is of great significance to the development of gene-based therapies for patients with unmet medical needs," Sue Washer, AGTC president/CEO and a SEBIO chairperson, said. "It is especially rewarding because this collaboration is proof that ideas originating from the great research happening in southeastern universities can make a difference in the worldwide biotechnology industry, with support from the vibrant professional community and organizations like SEBIO."
SEBIO is a regional non-profit supporting life sciences industry throughout the Southeast, promoting entrepreneurship and collaboration among developers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia, to North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. SEBIO focuses on bio/pharma, medical devices and technology, agricultural biotechnology, animal health, bioinformatics and biomaterials.
"AGTC has established itself as a leader in the southeast life sciences community, as exemplified by this innovative partnership with one of the world's most established and noteworthy biotechnology companies," Dr. Callaway said.