BOSTON, LONDON and LEIDEN, The Netherlands – Orchard Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ORTX), a global gene therapy leader, and Pharming Group N.V. (Euronext Amsterdam: PHARM/Nasdaq: PHAR), a global, commercial stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced a strategic collaboration to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize OTL-105, a newly disclosed investigational ex vivo autologous hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene therapy for the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE), a life-threatening rare disorder that causes recurring swelling attacks in the face, throat, extremities and abdomen.
OTL-105 is an investigational HSC gene therapy designed to increase C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH) in HAE patient serum to prevent hereditary angioedema attacks. OTL-105 inserts one or more functional copies of the SERPING1 gene into patients own HSCs ex vivo which are then transplanted back into the patient for potential durable C1-INH production. In preclinical studies, to date, OTL-105 demonstrated high levels of SERPING1 gene expression via lentiviral-mediated transduction in multiple cell lines and primary human CD34+ HSCs. Furthermore, the program achieved production of functional C1-INH protein, as measured by a clinically validated assay.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Pharming has been granted worldwide rights to OTL-105 and will be responsible for clinical development, regulatory filings, and commercialization of the investigational gene therapy, including associated costs. Orchard will lead the completion of IND-enabling activities and oversee manufacturing of OTL-105 during pre-clinical and clinical development, which will be funded by Pharming. In addition, both companies will explore the application of non-toxic conditioning regimen for use with OTL-105 administration.
Orchard will receive an upfront payment of $17.5 million comprising $10 million in cash and a $7.5 million equity investment from Pharming at a premium to Orchard’s recent share price. Orchard is also eligible to receive up to $189.5 million in development, regulatory and sales milestones as well as mid-single to low double-digit royalty payments on future worldwide sales.
“Given the combination of our expertise in HSC gene therapy with Pharming’s long-standing legacy and experience, we have the potential to reinvent the treatment paradigm for HAE by providing people living with this life-threatening disorder a sustained therapy with a single administration,” said Bobby Gaspar, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of Orchard Therapeutics. “This collaboration demonstrates the promise of the HSC gene therapy platform and how it can be applied to new therapeutic areas with larger patient populations. We believe the HSC gene therapy pipeline we are building could continue to be a source of future partnerships in areas where the biology supports our approach.”
“Pharming has been committed to the HAE community for more than two decades,” said Sijmen de Vries M.D., MBA, chief executive officer of Pharming. “We have partnered with Orchard Therapeutics, a leader in the development of autologous HSC gene therapy, to develop a potentially curative treatment for HAE. Based on Pharming’s experience in HAE, we believe that HSC gene therapy has the potential for the highest probability of success. This confidence is based on the durability of effect and safety observed in approved treatments from Orchard’s HSC gene therapy portfolio and positive clinical data in several other programs. This a significant first step in developing a potentially transformative one-time treatment for HAE.”
“Great progress has been made in HAE treatment over the last 15 years. However, HAE remains a severe, debilitating disease with an ongoing burden of angioedema attacks or chronic medication use,” said Dr. Marc Riedl, professor of medicine and clinical director of the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association Center at the University of California, San Diego. “This promising work toward treatment with the potential for durable long-term clinical benefit is encouraging and signifies an ongoing commitment to the HAE community. I look forward to these efforts to identify and carefully advance a potential cure for HAE.”
The HAE market is expected to generate ~$2 billion in sales in 2021, currently growing at 8% per annum. This represents a significant commercial opportunity for Pharming Group and Orchard Therapeutics.
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disorder. The condition is caused by a deficiency of the C1 esterase inhibitor protein, which is normally present in blood and helps control inflammation (swelling) and parts of the immune system. Deficient C1 inhibitor does not adequately perform its regulatory function and, as a result, a biochemical imbalance can occur and produce unwanted peptides that induce the capillaries to release fluids into surrounding tissue, thereby causing swelling or edema.
HAE is characterized by spontaneous and recurrent episodes of swelling (edema attacks) of the skin in different parts of the body, as well as in the airways and internal organs. Edema of the skin usually affects the extremities, the face, and the genitals. Patients suffering from this kind of edema often withdraw from their social lives because of the disfiguration, discomfort and pain these symptoms may cause. Almost all HAE patients suffer from bouts of severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea caused by swelling of the intestinal wall.
Edema of the throat, nose or tongue is particularly dangerous and potentially life-threatening as it can lead to obstruction of the airway passages. Although there is currently no known cure for HAE, it is possible to treat the symptoms associated with angioedema attacks. HAE affects about 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people worldwide. Experts believe a lot of patients are still seeking the right diagnosis: although HAE is (in principle) easy to diagnose, it is frequently identified very late or not discovered at all. The reason HAE is often misdiagnosed is because the symptoms are similar to those of many other common conditions such as allergies or appendicitis. By the time it is diagnosed correctly, the patient has often been through a long ordeal.
About Pharming Group N.V.
Pharming Group N.V. is a global, commercial stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative protein replacement therapies and precision medicines for the treatment of rare diseases and unmet medical needs.
The flagship of our portfolio is our recombinant human C1 esterase inhibitor (rhC1INH) franchise. C1INH is a naturally occurring protein that down regulates the complement and contact cascades in order to control inflammation in affected tissues.
Our lead product, RUCONEST®, is the first and only plasma-free rhC1INH protein replacement therapy. It is approved for the treatment of acute hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks. We are commercializing RUCONEST® in the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom through our own sales and marketing organization, and the rest of the world through our distribution network.
In addition, we are investigating the clinical efficacy of rhC1INH in the treatment of further indications, including pre-eclampsia, acute kidney injury, and severe pneumonia as a result of COVID-19 infections.
Furthermore, we are leveraging our transgenic manufacturing technology to develop next-generation protein replacement therapies, most notably for Pompe disease, which is currently in preclinical development.
About Orchard Therapeutics
Orchard Therapeutics is a global gene therapy leader dedicated to transforming the lives of people affected by severe diseases through the development of innovative, potentially curative gene therapies. Our ex vivo autologous gene therapy approach harnesses the power of genetically modified blood stem cells and seeks to correct the underlying cause of disease in a single administration. In 2018, Orchard acquired GSK’s rare disease gene therapy portfolio, which originated from a pioneering collaboration between GSK and the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy in Milan, Italy. Orchard now has one of the deepest and most advanced gene therapy product candidate pipelines in the industry spanning multiple therapeutic areas where the disease burden on children, families and caregivers is immense and current treatment options are limited or do not exist.
Orchard has its global headquarters in London and U.S. headquarters in Boston. For more information, please visit www.orchard-tx.com, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Availability of Other Information About Orchard Therapeutics
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Orchard Therapeutics Contacts:
Director, Investor Relations
Director, Corporate Communications
Pharming Group N.V. Contacts
Pharming Group, Leiden, The Netherlands
Sijmen de Vries,
+31 71 524 7400
Investor Relations Manager
+31 71 524 7400
FTI Consulting, London, UK
Victoria Foster Mitchell/Alex Shaw
+44 203 727 1000
LifeSpring Life Sciences Communication, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
+31 6 53 81 64 27