Allergan acquired all assets of RetroSense Therapeutics and global rights to RST-001, a novel gene therapy for retinitis pigmentosa, the companies announced in a press release.
Allergan paid RetroSense an initial cash payment of $60 million and agreed to make potential regulatory and commercialization milestone payments related to RST-001.
With the acquisition, Allergan is furthering its investment in new products designed to satisfy unmet patient needs, the release said.
“The RST-001 program and its optogenetic gene therapy approach could be a real breakthrough in the treatment of unmet needs across a host of retinal conditions, including RP,” David Nicholson, Allergan’s chief research and development officer, said in the release.
RST-001, a first-in-class therapy, employs a photosensitivity gene, channelrhodopsin-2, to create new photosensors in retinal ganglion cells, the release said.
The FDA granted RST-001 orphan drug designation in 2014 for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa. In August 2015, the FDA cleared a new drug application for the therapy, and RetroSense launched a phase 1/2a clinical trial to evaluate the safety of RST-001 in March.