Nightstar Therapeutics will be acquired by Biogen for a price of $25.50 per share, or nearly $877 million, the companies announced.
The agreement is conditional on approval from Nightstar shareholders and is expected to become effective by mid-year, according to a Nightstar press release.
“Ophthalmology is an emerging growth area for Biogen, and we are excited about the opportunity to work with the talented employees at Nightstar to advance potentially transformative gene therapy programs for rare retinal diseases,” Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos said in a Biogen press release.
NSR-REP1, Nightstar’s lead asset, is a treatment for choroideremia comprised of an AAV vector administered by subretinal injection. NSR-REP1 demonstrated a potentially meaningful slowing of decline in visual acuity in a phase 1/2 trial, the Nightstar release said.
The company also has a program for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, with a Stargardt disease treatment in its preclinical pipeline.
“Our agreement with Biogen will give us the platform and resources to expand our mission to maintain and restore sight in patients with inherited retinal diseases. This transaction accelerates treatment to patients through Nightstar’s key retinal gene therapy programs that modify or halt progression of blindness,” Nightstar CEO David Fellows said in the Nightstar release. “Together, with Biogen’s expertise in rare diseases, worldwide reach and extensive resources, we will dramatically improve the lives of patients around the world who currently have no treatment options.”