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UCLB and Apollo Therapeutics sign license agreement for gene therapy with Deerfield Management

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 29th, 2020

UCL Business (UCLB), the commercialization arm of University College London, has entered into a license agreement with Apollo Therapeutics and healthcare investment firm Deerfield to advance a novel gene therapy program developed at UCL.

Apollo is a collaborative venture between three top UK universities, including UCL, and three leading health care industry partner companies (AstraZeneca UK Limited, Glaxo Group Limited and Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Inc.). The group’s aim is to identify and accelerate university research that might benefit clinicians and patients in areas of high need.

Under the agreement, Deerfield will leverage its drug development resources and expertise to move UCL technology forward. Those resources include the company’s newly launched Cure building in New York City, which brings together leading companies in life sciences, medical devices and other fields to develop innovative healthcare solutions.

“This first licensing deal with Deerfield demonstrates how Apollo can bridge the translational gap from academic research to a product that’s commercially ready and validates our novel model,” says Richard Butt, CEO of Apollo. “We have a pipeline of other exciting therapeutic programs which have been shaped solely by the emerging science developed at our partner universities and which target the continuing unmet medical and patients’ need for new therapeutics. We expect to be able to report further licensing and portfolio progress during 2020.”

Richard Fagan, director of BioPharm at UCLB, comments, “Deerfield’s investment is great validation of the Apollo joint venture business model, and demonstrates how U.K. institutions and its research can attract financing and support from global firms. This deal also demonstrates how universities and industries can work together to mutual commercial benefit, which will be especially important as efforts are made to reboot the global economy.”

James E. Flynn, managing partner at Deerfield, comments, “To best identify and nurture the incredible potential of gene therapy developments to come, more than any time before, we need to work together and make advancing the critical work of the world’s brilliant scientists, while eliminating any unnecessary constraints, a priority. If gene therapy is to become a staple of 21st century medicine, it is key to have an infrastructure in place that utilizes the most progressive tools and scientific know-how, and which is adaptable to the changing landscape. The Cure is well-positioned to take on this charge all under one roof, and we are excited to partner with the research enterprise and extraordinary talent that comprises UCL, UCLB and Apollo.”

Source: Business Wire

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