- Taysha Gene Therapies is an emerging leader in the development of AAV gene therapies; new collaboration aimed at enhancing development of two of Taysha’s novel product candidates for rare monogenic central nervous system diseases with serious unmet medical needs -
- Astellas to invest a total of $50 million to acquire 15% of the company and to receive an exclusive option to obtain an exclusive license for TSHA-102 for Rett syndrome and TSHA-120 for giant axonal neuropathy (GAN) -
- Astellas to receive certain rights related to any potential change of control of Taysha -
- Astellas to receive one Board observer seat on the Taysha Board of Directors -
TOKYO and DALLAS, TEXAS, October 24, 2022 – Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., “Astellas”) and Taysha Gene Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSHA, CEO: RA Session II, “Taysha”) today announced a strategic investment to support the advancement of Taysha’s adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy development programs for the treatment of Rett syndrome and GAN. The future options to potentially apply Astellas’ global R&D, manufacturing and commercialization capabilities in gene therapy to Taysha’s innovative AAV gene therapy development programs for genetic diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) create the opportunity for the two companies to enhance the development of novel treatment options for patients with Rett syndrome and GAN, who have serious unmet medical needs.
Under the terms of the agreement, Astellas will invest a total of $50 million to acquire 15% of the outstanding common stock of Taysha and to receive an exclusive option to license two of Taysha’s clinical stage programs: TSHA-102 for Rett syndrome and TSHA-120 for GAN. In addition, Taysha has granted Astellas certain rights related to any potential change of control of Taysha. Definitive agreements would be executed upon Astellas’ exercise of any such option, and any change of control transaction would require approval by Taysha’s stockholders.
Taysha is engaged in the development of intrathecally-delivered AAV gene therapies for monogenic CNS diseases. As a part of this platform approach, Taysha has a promising pipeline, including TSHA-102, which is the first-and-only gene therapy in clinical development for Rett syndrome, and TSHA-120, which is in Phase 1/2 development for the treatment of GAN and awaiting regulatory feedback.
Astellas is continuing to build its capability to bring novel gene therapies to patients, following the acquisition of Audentes (now Astellas Gene Therapies, California) in January 2020 and the construction of a state-of-the-art commercial GMP manufacturing facility in North Carolina, which was opened in June of this year.
“Gene therapy is the corner stone of Astellas’ Primary Focus, Genetic Regulation*1; our goal is to bring new transformative treatment options to patients living with serious genetic diseases and limited treatment options,” said Naoki Okamura, Chief Strategy Officer, at Astellas. “Taysha is an industry leader in CNS gene therapies and this partnership fits strategically with our long-term vision of expanding Astellas’ gene therapy capabilities, allowing the company to impact the lives of a broader range of patients with urgent unmet medical needs.”
“We are excited to enter this strategic investment with Astellas, a premier biopharmaceutical company with global R&D, manufacturing and commercial capabilities,” said RA Session II, Taysha’s Chief Executive Officer. “We believe this investment not only further validates the potential of our technology platform, but also reinforces the therapeutic and market opportunity of our two lead clinical assets.”
To further strategically align Astellas and Taysha, in connection with its equity investment, Astellas will receive one Board observer seat on Taysha’s Board of Directors, enabling Taysha to leverage Astellas’ gene therapy clinical and commercial expertise as Taysha advances TSHA-120 and TSHA-102.
*1: Astellas has established a Focus Area Approach for its research and development strategy. For more information, please visit our website at https://www.astellas.com/en/science/focus-area-approach.
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