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Lilly nabs gene therapy company Prevail Therapeutics

15 Dec 2020

Through the acquisition, Lilly will establish a gene therapy program via Prevail's gain clinical-stage and preclinical neuroscience assets

Eli Lilly has agreed to buy Prevail Therapeutics — a biotechnology company developing gene therapies to slow or stop the underlying disease process for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders — for approximately $1 billion.

The company said the acquisition would establish a new modality for drug discovery and development, extending its research efforts through the creation of a gene therapy program that will be anchored by Prevail's portfolio of clinical-stage and preclinical neuroscience assets.

In the three years since the launch of the New York-based company in 2017, Prevail has advanced two first-in-class gene therapy programs into clinical development: PR001, a potentially disease-modifying, single-dose gene therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease with GBA1 mutations (PD-GBA) and neuronopathic Gaucher disease (nGD); and PR006, a potentially disease-modifying, single-dose gene therapy for patients with frontotemporal dementia with GRN mutations (FTD-GRN).

Both PR001 and PR006 are at various stages in Phase I/II trials.

Prevail's preclinical pipeline includes PR004 for patients with specific synucleinopathies, as well as potential gene therapies for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

“Gene therapy is a promising approach with the potential to deliver transformative treatments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Gaucher and dementia,” said Mark Mintun, vice president of pain and neurodegeneration research at Lilly.

He added: "The acquisition of Prevail will bring critical technology and highly skilled teams to complement our existing expertise at Lilly, as we build a new gene therapy program anchored by well-researched assets."

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