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Arbutus will license exclusive rights to its LNP and ligand conjugate delivery platforms to Genevant for RNA-based applications outside of Hepatitis B virus. Through its expert team and dominant intellectual property in RNA delivery, Genevant plans to develop products in-house and pursue industry partnerships to build a diverse pipeline of therapeutics across multiple modalities, including RNAi, mRNA, and gene editing.
The industry-leading LNP platform developed by Arbutus is the only clinically-validated LNP delivery technology with safety and efficacy evaluated in over 400 patients across multiple clinical programs. It is the first and only LNP platform to enable an approved therapy, and has enabled a second NDA filing through its licensed use by
Biopharmaceutical companies developing nucleic acid therapeutics today include companies singularly focused on individual treatment modalities. Through its proprietary delivery platforms, Genevant is able to pursue mRNA, RNAi, and gene editing modalities and select the optimal approach for any given disease. By 2020, Genevant aims to have 5 to 10 RNA programs in the clinic targeting a range of genetic disorders with limited or no treatment options.
Genevant’s Executive Chairman will be
Genevant intends to establish its US headquarters in
Under the terms of the agreement, Roivant will contribute
About RNA Therapeutics
RNA therapeutics, which include RNAi, mRNA, and gene editing approaches, have the potential to modulate and regulate gene expression by up-regulating, down-regulating, eliminating, or correcting disease-causing proteins. The successful application of such therapeutics requires safe and efficacious intracellular delivery.
Roivant Sciences is a privately-held company dedicated to transformative innovation in healthcare. Roivant focuses on realizing the full potential of promising biomedical research by developing and commercializing novel therapies across diverse therapeutic areas. Roivant partners with innovative biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions to ensure that important medicines are rapidly developed and delivered to patients. Roivant’s long-range mission is to reduce the time and cost of the drug development process. For more information, please visit www.roivant.com.
About the Arbutus Special Committee
The Board of Directors of Arbutus approved the formation of a Special Committee of independent directors, (the “Special Committee”) to ascertain whether it would be in the best interests of Arbutus to enter into these agreements with Roivant, and to provide a recommendation to the Board in that regard.
Further details regarding the partnership with Roivant and Genevant are provided in Arbutus’ Form 8-K to be filed with the
Forward-Looking Statements and Information
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”), including, without limitation, statements containing the words "believes," "may," "plans," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipates," "intends," "expects," and similar expressions, and the negative of such expressions. These statements are only predictions.
Forward-looking statements should be considered carefully. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements and information as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. By their nature, forward-looking statements and information involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, which contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements and information will not occur and may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements and information.
There are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Arbutus' or Genevant’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Known risk factors include, among others: Genevant may not produce the expected level of value for Arbutus and its shareholders, if at all; expected payments, financings, and royalties may not be as large or as timely as expected, if at all; anticipated pre-clinical and clinical trials may be more costly or take longer to complete than anticipated, and may never be initiated or completed, or may not generate results that warrant future development of the tested drug candidate; Arbutus and Genevant may not receive the necessary regulatory approvals for the clinical development of their products on a timely basis, if at all; key management personnel may become unavailable; Genevant may need to shift operating centres; economic and market conditions may worsen; and market shifts may require a change in strategic focus.
A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Arbutus appears in Arbutus' Annual Report on Form 10-K and Arbutus' continuous disclosure filings, which are available at www.sedar.com and at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements herein are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Arbutus disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.
As closing of the transaction is contemplated as soon as practicable, this could result in Arbutus’ material change report being filed with the Canadian securities regulators less than 21 days before completion of the transaction. In such a circumstance, Arbutus is required, under MI 61-101, to explain why a shorter period is reasonable or necessary in the circumstances. Arbutus believes that a shorter period is both reasonable and necessary given its assessment that closing of the transaction as soon as practicable is in the best interests of Arbutus.
Manager, Investor Relations
Source: Arbutus Biopharma Corporation