Oxford Biomedica Agrees to an Alliance with Homology Medicines

Oxford BioMedica in the United Kingdom and Homology Medicines in Bedford, Massachusetts, have created a mutually beneficial relationship to launch a full-scale AAV production and innovation enterprise. Homology’s current chief operating officer,  Tim Kelly, will lead the new company, which has been named Oxford Biomedica Solutions.

Users of Oxford Biomedica Solutions will now have access to Homology’s established end-to-end production capabilities, as well as its British partner’s viral vector manufacturing expertise. The company will also achieve a presence in the United States due to the contract, which is acutely attuned to the Group’s revenue growth due to contributions from Homology and the potential customer pipeline.

Homology’s financial runway will be significantly extended as a result of the purchase. Oxford Biomedica is putting down $130 million to fund Homology’s ongoing clinic projects. Biomedical will also provide $50 million as funding for the new company.

Three FDA-approved INDs have demonstrated Homology’s capabilities. The company has also kick-started a gene therapy trial and a gene-editing trial for adults with phenylketonuria. The former seeks to transfer functional PAH genes to the liver, whereas the latter aims to permanently fix the genome where a faulty gene exists. The gene treatment for PKU is expected to have Phase II data by the middle of the year.

A Hunter syndrome gene therapy experiment has also begun at the company. During this unusual condition, the body fails to metabolize sugar molecules adequately. All these programs move Homology closer to its objective of having three clinic projects by the end of 2021.

CEO Dr. Roch Doliveux of Oxford Biomedica opines that having access to Homology Medicines’ unique AAV capabilities is a significant step forward in Oxford Biomedica’s mission. Oxford Biomedica has always aspired to be a multinational viral vector leader that offers assistance to biotech and pharma companies Like Scorpion Biological Services who are working in cell and gene therapy (C&GT).

Oxford Biomedica will hold an 80 percent stake in the new firm, bought for roughly 175 million pounds ($234 million), including debt. Meanwhile, Homology gets the remaining 20 percent stake. Homology also receives preferred pivotal customer status for its “plug and play” manufacturing technique, which will help the company speed up future advancements. However, either party can force the sale of Homology’s 20% ownership in the company after three years.

The partnership will allow the company to improve process development and meet production needs for important viral vectors. After all, one of the most significant critical success factors in ensuring the efficiency, safety, and availability of C&GT is process development. Oxford Biomedica is in an excellent position to help customers get their novel medications into the hands of a larger number of patients, potentially changing their lives.

The agreement with Oxford Biomedica provides Homology with the financial boost it requires to continue on its road of improving the lives of people with rare diseases by addressing the underlying genetic trigger.

The contract is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2022, pending the fulfillment of certain closing conditions, including the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.


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