Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) and Decibel Therapeutics, Inc., today announced a collaboration to discover and develop new potential therapeutics to protect, repair, and restore hearing.
Decibel is establishing a leadership position in hearing therapeutics by building the world's first comprehensive, integrated drug discovery, translational research, and drug development platform for hearing loss and tinnitus. Regeneron has established world-leading capabilities in genetics research, drug discovery, and antibody development and manufacturing, which can now be used in synergy with Decibel's efforts in hearing loss.
"Over three decades, Regeneron has established an unparalleled suite of innovative technologies thanks to the science-focused approach championed by their longstanding leadership team," said Steven H. Holtzman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Decibel. "As we work to apply these capabilities to the development of hearing therapeutics, what truly distinguishes this collaboration is that Regeneron and Decibel scientists will be working together, shoulder to shoulder, on project teams beginning at the earliest stages of research. We believe this should significantly reduce the time and investment necessary for Decibel to sustainably discover and develop meaningful new medications for hearing loss and tinnitus, increase our probability of success, and enable us to build the world's leading hearing therapeutics company."
The collaboration has an innovative structure where Regeneron will provide Decibel with broad access to its proprietary suite of technologies to support Decibel's goal of discovering important new medicines for hearing. Regeneron will also directly participate in and provide financial support for Decibel's research and development efforts, both through R&D funding payments and a strategic equity investment in Decibel. Decibel retains worldwide development and commercialization rights to any products discovered in the collaboration and will pay Regeneron tiered royalties based on net sales. Further financial terms were not disclosed.
"Regeneron is committed to following the science as broadly as possible, and we're excited to invest in new discoveries coming not only from our labs but also from young biotechnology companies with whom we believe we can synergize. We see these kinds of creative collaborations as a promising way to extend the impact of our technology and medicines to even more patients in need," said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. "Decibel is an ideal example in the area of hearing problems – a condition where new and earlier interventions could truly change the course of a person's entire life."
"This stands out as one of the most unique collaborations that I have seen in my 30-plus years in biotech," said Kevin Starr, Co-Founder and Partner at Third Rock Ventures and Chairman of Decibel. "The scope of the collaboration in research and discovery, as well as the retention by the younger biotechnology company to all commercial rights worldwide, are unprecedented in my experience. It positions Decibel to lead the way in developing meaningful therapeutics for hearing."
About Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
According to the World Health Organization, over five percent of the world's population—360 million people—have disabling hearing loss.1 Hearing loss has a variety of etiologies, including genetics, drug-induced ototoxicity, viral and bacterial infections, trauma, exposure to noise, and aging. The effects of hearing loss are wide-ranging and include delayed learning in children and increased social isolation in adults; economically, global costs secondary to hearing loss exceed $750 billion.1 Currently, there are no medicines available to protect, repair, or restore hearing.
About Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for nearly 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to six FDA-approved treatments and over a dozen product candidates in development, all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye disease, heart disease, allergic and inflammatory diseases, pain, cancer, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite® technologies, including VelocImmune® to yield optimized fully-human antibodies, and ambitious initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world. For additional information about the company, please visit www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.
About Decibel Therapeutics, Inc.
Decibel is building the world's first comprehensive, integrated drug discovery, translational research, and drug development platform to protect, repair, and restore hearing. Founded by world-leading hearing experts and launched in late 2015 by Third Rock Ventures with SR One, Decibel is committed to creating a world in which the benefits and joys of hearing are available to all. Decibel is headquartered in Boston, MA.
For more information about Decibel, please visit www.decibeltx.com or follow @DecibelTx on Twitter.