October 29, 2020 -- Novartis has acquired Vedere Bio in a deal that includes that company's lead preclinical intravitreally injected adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy program, which focuses on pan-genotypic vision restoration in patients with photoreceptor-based vision loss.
Shareholders in Vedere Bio received $150 million upfront and will be eligible for up to $130 million in milestone payments. The company is based on technology directed at enhanced ocular gene therapy delivery out of the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania. The company has developed intravitreal capsids that enable optogenetics products and other ocular gene therapies.
Immediately prior to the acquisition, certain earlier-stage vision restoration and vision preservation assets leveraging the company's ocular gene therapy toolbox were spun out into a newly formed entity, called Vedere Bio II. The firm will operate as a wholly independent entity from Novartis and Vedere Bio. The new company will develop novel vision restoration and vision preservation medicines.