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Sangamo Teams with Biogen on Hemoglobin Conditions

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 8:26am
The Associated Press

Sangamo BioSciences Inc. could receive more than $300 million through a collaboration with Biogen Idec over potential treatments for conditions that affect the oxygen-carrying blood component known as hemoglobin.

Shares of Richmond, Calif.- based Sangamo soared Thursday after the companies announced their agreement.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen will pay Sangamo $20 million upfront and then reimburse it for research and development related costs. Sangamo also may receive additional payments of about $300 million if the collaboration reaches some development, regulatory and sales milestones.

The companies will focus on developing treatments for hemoglobinopathies, or inherited conditions that stem from the abnormal structure or underproduction of hemoglobin. That includes sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, a blood condition that reduces the production of hemoglobin.

Sangamo has developed gene-editing technology that can be used to insert a corrective gene into patients, replacing a defective one. Biogen officials say they hope to use the technology to create a single approach that could cure both sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia.

Sangamo shares jumped 37 percent, or $5.07, to $18.72 in afternoon trading while the Nasdaq exchange fell slightly. Meanwhile, Biogen shares advanced 21 cents to $290.22.

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