Why Novartis (NVS) Is Buying Gyroscope For $1.5 Billion

By Amit Chowdhry ● Dec 22, 2021
  • Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) announced it is buying Gyroscope. These are the details.

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding share capital of the UK-based ocular gene therapy company Gyroscope Therapeutics. Novartis is going to make an upfront payment of $800 million and potential additional milestone payments of up to $700 million. And the closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals. Until the closing, Novartis and Gyroscope Therapeutics will continue to operate as separate and independent companies.

Geographic atrophy (GA) is known as an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that leads to progressive and irreversible vision loss. And there are no approved treatments for GA, making it one of the most significant unmet needs remaining in retinal diseases.

GT005 is designed as an AAV2-based, one-time investigational gene therapy for GA secondary to AMD that is delivered under the retina. And GT005 aims to restore balance to an overactive complement system, a part of the immune system, by increasing the production of the CFI protein.

Complement overactivation can lead to inflammation that damages healthy tissues, and it has been strongly correlated with the development and progression of AMD. And the CFI protein regulates the activity of the complement system. It is believed that increasing CFI production could reduce inflammation, with the goal of preserving a person’s eyesight.

The safety and efficacy of GT005 for the treatment of GA secondary to AMD are currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial and two Phase 2 clinical trials. And GT005 has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of people with GA.

Plus Gyroscope also has several additional assets in its pipeline in early discovery for retinal diseases.

KEY QUOTE:

“With our own pioneering research in ocular gene therapies and our experience gained from bringing Luxturna to inherited retinal dystrophy patients outside of the US, Novartis has a well-established expertise in ocular gene therapies that will position us well to continue developing this promising one-time treatment. This acquisition is one more step forward in our commitment to delivering innovation in ophthalmology to treat and prevent blindness worldwide.”

— Marie-France Tschudin, President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals