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Roche enters $1.15 billion licensing deal for Sarepta gene therapy

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – Roche (ROG.S) entered into a $1.15 billion licensing agreement with Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT.O) to obtain the right to launch and commercialize Sarepta’s investigational gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) outside the United States.

Roche will make an upfront payment of $750 million in cash and $400 million worth in equity at closing for Sarepta’s investigational micro-dystrophin gene therapy SRP-9001 that is currently in clinical development, the Swiss drugmaker said in a statement on Monday.

In addition, Sarepta is eligible to receive up to $1.7 billion in regulatory and sales milestones, plus royalties on net sales, Roche said, adding the agreement was expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Sarepta will continue to be responsible for the clinical development and manufacturing of SRP-9001 while sharing global clinical development costs equally with Roche.

DMD is a rare degenerative neuromuscular disorder, affecting about one in 3,500-5,000 male births worldwide and causing severe progressive muscle loss and premature death, Roche said.

Earlier this month, Sarepta gained U.S. approval for another DMD drug, Vyondys 53.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Subhranshu Sahu

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