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The initial collaboration between the two companies began in 2017 with an extension announced in 2021.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Decibel Therapeutics announced a definitive agreement on August 9, 2023, for the acquisition of Decibel by Regeneron at $4 per share of Decibel common stock payable in cash at closing.
“We at Decibel are deeply committed to discovering and advancing innovative new therapies with the potential to be transformative for people with severe forms of hearing loss. We have built a pipeline of gene therapy product candidates for the ear that we believe have such potential. After full consideration, the Decibel Board has determined that this transaction is the best way to maximize shareholder value and ultimately benefit patients,” said Laurence E. Reid, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Decibel, in a press release. “We have collaborated with our colleagues at Regeneron for the past six years and have huge respect for their research and development capabilities. We have full confidence that with Regeneron’s expertise and resources the Decibel pipeline can be optimally developed, and our team is committed to enabling that long-term success.”
The initial collaboration between the two companies began in 2017 with an extension announced in 2021, and they are now developing three gene therapy programs targeting different forms of congenital, monogenic hearing loss, according to the press release. Decibel’s lead investigational candidate, DB-OTO, is currently in the global Phase I/II CHORDTM clinical trial, which is an investigational cell-selective, adeno-associated virus gene therapy. The objective of the study is to provide physiological hearing to individuals with congenital hearing loss caused by mutations of the otoferlin gene.
“We are delighted to announce the planned acquisition of Decibel, who have been long-standing collaborators, notable for their deep scientific knowledge and commitment to people with hearing loss,” said George D. Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, Board co-Chair, chief scientific officer and president of Regeneron, in a press release. “DB-OTO, our shared lead investigational gene therapy, will soon reach patients in its first clinical trial, offering new promise to children with this rare form of congenital hearing loss, as well as potential proof-of-concept for future gene therapies addressing more common forms of genetic hearing loss. We believe that Decibel’s assets and specialized team will further strengthen our genetic medicines portfolio, enabling Regeneron to accelerate the development of innovative genetic therapies and a rich pipeline of hearing loss treatments.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023, according to the press release.