Gene therapy invented at Nationwide Children’s lands $1.1B commercialization deal for Boston biotech

Local News

COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — A gene therapy invented at Nationwide Children’s Hospital just landed a licensing deal worth as much as $2.8 billion for a Boston biotech, and now the company’s Columbus office will play a big role in getting the treatment to the market.

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. has licensed the commercial rights outside of the United States to the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche for $1.1 billion in cash and stock up front. Sarepta also can earn as much as $1.7 billion in milestone payments, plus royalties. And that doesn’t include what the Cambridge company can get for U.S. rights.

The therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a type that is usually fatal by the end of adolescence, is in clinical trials led in Columbus by the pediatric hospital. Sarepta hopes to launch the trial to confirm clinical benefits of the treatment in the first half of next year, according to regulatory filings.

The Duchenne therapy represents the majority of the work at Gene Therapy Center of Excellence that Sarepta opened in Central Ohio this year, a spokeswoman said. It already has hired 40 people to work at a lab in Dublin until construction is complete on its 85,000-square-foot office at 3435 Stelzer Road in Easton.

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