Novartis Goes Big On Gene Therapy With $8.7bn AveXis Acquisition
The Swiss major has made a larger-than-expected bolt-on buy, using a large chunk of its $13bn windfall from GSK to get hold of a potential cure for spinal muscular atrophy and an additional gene therapy platform, as well as manufacturing capabilities.
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Gene therapy remains attractive when data show new technologies can advance the field, but gene regulation, editing and RNA therapies are grabbing investors’ attention, panelists said at ARM’s Cell and Gene Meeting on the Mesa.
Private Company Edition: Clover’s $230m financing was the largest of recent mega-rounds. Century Therapeutics ($160m), Vividion ($135m) and eGenesis ($125m) also raised big rounds and investors Foresite Capital ($969m), Sofinnova Partners ($540m) and OMX Ventures ($150m) raised new VC funds.
Novartis has completed its absorption of AveXis and rebranded the acquired gene therapy specialist that developed the soon-to-be SMA blockbuster Zolgensma despite struggling to meet the data integrity standards of regulators and big pharma.