UPDATE 2-Shire partners Sangamo in gene therapy for hemophilia

Posted: February 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm

* Shire (Stuttgart: A0MMAG - news) to pay $13 mln upfront, plus milestones

* Sangamo shares rise more than 25 percent (Adds analyst comment, share price)

Feb 1 (Reuters) - Pharmaceutical company Shire said on Wednesday it would collaborate with Sangamo BioSciences (Hamburg: GBY.HM - news) to develop treatments for hemophilia and other inherited diseases based on Sangamo's gene regulation and modification technology.

The news, seen as a vote of confidence in Sangamo's experimental gene-disrupting technique, sent shares of the Richmond (NZSE: RHD.NZ - news) , California-based company up more than 25 percent.

Shire is buying the rights to the U.S. company's proprietary technology to target four genes, which the company said it hoped could lead to therapies for haemophilia A and B. Shire also acquired the right to designate three additional gene targets.

Sylvie Grégoire, president of Shire's Human Genetic Therapies business, said: "While still early in the clinical development process, this DNA-binding protein technology is aligned with our focus of developing new treatments."

The British company is paying Sangamo $13 million in an upfront payment, followed by development and commercial payments and royalties on product sales.

After the deal was announced, Piper Jaffray (Berlin: PJR.BE - news) upgraded Sangamo to "neutral" from "underweight," and raised its price target on the shares to $4 from $2.

Shares of Sangamo were up 92 cents at $4.37 in midday trading on Nasdaq (Nasdaq: ^NDX - news) .

Genetic disease are an important therapeutic area for Shire, and the group has found success with drugs to treat the rare Gaucher's and Fabry's diseases. (Reporting by Paul Sandle and Deena Beasley. Editing by Gunna Dickson)

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UPDATE 2-Shire partners Sangamo in gene therapy for hemophilia

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