NOVATO, Calif., Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: RARE), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel products for rare and ultra-rare diseases, and Arcturus Therapeutics, Inc., a leading RNA medicines company, today announced that they have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement to discover and develop messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics to certain rare disease targets using Arcturus’ UNA Oligomer™ chemistry and LUNAR™ nanoparticle delivery platform.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ultragenyx will make an upfront payment of $10 million to Arcturus. During the initial phase of the collaboration, Arcturus will design and optimize mRNA therapeutics for two selected rare disease targets. Ultragenyx has the option to add up to eight additional rare disease targets during the collaborative research period. Ultragenyx will be responsible for the development and commercialization of all products under the collaboration. Arcturus will be entitled to preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and sales milestone payments of up to $156 million for each target, as well as reimbursement of all research expenses and mid-single to low double-digit royalties on commercial sales.
“This collaboration with Arcturus will help us address a wider range of rare diseases than is possible with currently available approaches,” said Emil D. Kakkis, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Ultragenyx. “The joint program combines Arcturus’ technology platform, which we believe solves some of the key issues associated with mRNA therapeutics, with Ultragenyx’s expertise in rare disease drug development.”
“The Ultragenyx-Arcturus partnership is an ideal combination to leverage the potential of mRNA therapeutics to provide important new treatments for rare disease patients,” said Joseph E. Payne, President and CEO of Arcturus Therapeutics. “Arcturus is thrilled to work with Ultragenyx, one of the premier rare disease companies, to identify treatments for challenging rare disease targets using our messenger RNA therapeutics platform.”
Founded in 2013 and based in San Diego, Arcturus Therapeutics, Inc. is an RNA medicines company with enabling technologies – UNA Oligomer™ chemistry and LUNAR™ nanoparticle delivery. Arcturus’ versatile RNA therapeutics platform can be applied toward all types of RNA medicines including small interfering RNA, messenger RNA, antisense RNA, microRNA and gene editing therapeutics. The company owns unlocked nucleomonomer agent (UNA) technology including UNA Oligomers™, which are covered by its patent portfolio (34 patents and patent applications, issued in the U.S. and other countries). Arcturus’ proprietary UNA technology can be used to target any gene in the human genome, as well as viral genes, and other species for therapeutic purposes. For more information, visit www.ArcturusRx.com.
Ultragenyx is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing to market novel products for the treatment of rare and ultra-rare diseases, with a focus on serious, debilitating genetic diseases. Founded in 2010, the company has rapidly built a diverse portfolio of product candidates with the potential to address diseases for which the unmet medical need is high, the biology for treatment is clear, and for which there are no approved therapies.
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.