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15 December 2017

Genequine sells therapy for up to $64m

Flexion will pay an undisclosed up-front sum for Genequine’s arthritis therapy, which is currently in pre-clinical development.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Genequine Biotherapeutics, a Germany-based genetic medicine company based on research at Baylor College of Medicine, sold one of its treatments to pharmaceutical firm Flexion Therapeutics yesterday in deal worth up to $64m.

Flexion will pay an undisclosed sum up front for the rights to Genequine’s newly-rebranded FX201 osteoarthritis treatment, which is in pre-clinical development. Further payments could be due on certain development and regulatory milestones.

Founded in 2012, Genequine has developed a gene therapy for severe osteoarthritis of the knee. The treatment releases an anti-inflammatory agent called IL-1Ra that was historically linked to tackling rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune joint condition.

Genequine is based on work by Kilian Guse, the company’s CEO, who completed a postdoctorate in gene therapy at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. The company now plans to develop further gene therapies for other muscle and skeletal diseases.

Public-private partnership High-Tech Gründerfonds contributed an undisclosed amount of seed money to Genequine in 2012.

The seed round was also backed by the city of Bonn and investment fund Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg, which is funded by the city of Hamburg and the EU’s European Regional Development Fund.

Kilian Guse said: “We are very pleased that Flexion has taken over the development of GQ-203/FX201 and are confident that, given their deep expertise in OA drug development, they will be able to efficiently advance the program into the clinic and potentially to the market.”

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