Biogen signs licensing deal for Penn gene therapy technology

Regenxbio, a Maryland biotechnology company that has its research operations in Philadelphia, signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Biogen.

The deal gives Biogen, the nation’s oldest biotechnology company, access to Regenxbio’s NAV Technology platform for use in developing treatments for two rare genetic vision disorders.

The technology platform, which includes vectors used to delivery gene therapies, was developed by University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. James Wilson, director of Penn’s gene therapy program and a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.

Wilson, the chief scientific officer at Regenxbio, and his team at Penn developed what are known as adeno-associated viruses— viruses that have been isolated from human and monkey tissues in the laboratory — that have been shown to be efficient in transferring genes into human cells. Regenxbio (NASDAQ: RGNX) of Rockville, Md., was founded in 2009 through a collaboration of Penn, through its Center for Innovation; Wilson; and FoxKiser, a Washington, D.C.-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology consulting firm.

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