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For Immediate Release
Company name: DAIICHI SANKYO COMPANY, LIMITED
Representative: Sunao Manabe, Representative Director, President and CEO
(Code no.: 4568, First Section, Tokyo Stock Exchange)
Please address inquiries to Junichi Onuma,
Vice President, Corporate Communications Department
Daiichi Sankyo Enters into Strategic Partnership with Ultragenyx for Use of Gene Therapy Manufacturing Technology
Tokyo, Japan (April 1, 2020) – Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited (hereafter, Daiichi Sankyo) today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (hereafter Ultragenyx) for the non-exclusive use of Ultragenyx’s proprietary adeno associated virus (AAV) based gene therapy manufacturing technology.
In the research and development of gene therapy drugs, gene transfer methods to target cells are critical, and the method with the highest expectations is the AAV vector, which can be used to transfer genes into various human tissues.
Daiichi Sankyo is currently doing discovery research for gene therapy drugs using AAV vectors, and in order to deliver gene therapy drugs to patients in the future, it is essential to also establish in-house manufacturing technology at an early stage. Ultragenyx has developed its own AAV production system using HeLa and HEK293 cells, which is particularly excellent in terms of stable quality, high production efficiency, and mass production capability.
Under this agreement, Daiichi Sankyo will complete a technology transfer from Ultragenyx, and following this transfer, Daiichi Sankyo will expand its manufacturing capacity with the cooperation of Ultragenyx and with the intention of starting the manufacture of investigational drugs for AAV gene therapy by the mid-2020s.
Daiichi Sankyo will make an upfront payment of USD $125 million to Ultragenyx at the time of this agreement as well as an additional payment of USD $25 million at the time of the successful technology transfer and sales royalties of products manufactured by Ultragenyx’s technology. Daiichi Sankyo will also purchase Ultragenyx common stock worth USD $75 million.
Daiichi Sankyo is committed to generating next-generation drugs, including focused modalities such as gene therapy, nucleic acid medicines, and cell therapy, toward sustained growth beyond achievement of its 2025 Vision and in line with the company’s goal of becoming a “Global Pharma Innovator with Competitive Advantage in Oncology”.
About Daiichi Sankyo
Daiichi Sankyo Group is dedicated to the creation and supply of innovative pharmaceutical therapies to improve standards of care and address diversified, unmet medical needs of people globally by leveraging our world-class science and technology. With more than 100 years of scientific expertise and a presence in more than 20 countries, Daiichi Sankyo and its 15,000 employees around the world draw upon a rich legacy of innovation and a robust pipeline of promising new medicines to help people. In addition to a strong portfolio of medicines for cardiovascular diseases, under the Group’s 2025 Vision to become a “Global Pharma Innovator with Competitive Advantage in Oncology,” Daiichi Sankyo is primarily focused on providing novel therapies in oncology, as well as other research areas centered around rare diseases and immune disorders. For more information, please visit: www.daiichisankyo.com.
About Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.
Ultragenyx (NASDAQ: RARE) is a biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing patients novel products for the treatment of serious rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases. The company has built a diverse portfolio of approved therapies and product candidates aimed at addressing diseases with high unmet medical need and clear biology for treatment, for which there are typically no approved therapies treating the underlying disease. The company is led by a management team experienced in the development and commercialization of rare disease therapeutics. Ultragenyx’s strategy is predicated upon time and cost-efficient drug development, with the goal of delivering safe and effective therapies to patients with the utmost urgency. For more information on Ultragenyx, please visit the Company's website at www.ultragenyx.com.