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Monday, December 8, 2014

Pfizer bets on gene therapy as technology comes of age, (NYSE: PFE)

Pfizer Inc is moving into the gene therapy space in the latest sign that the technology for fixing faulty genes may finally be ready for prime time, following earlier setbacks. The U.S. drugmaker said on Monday it was establishing a gene therapy platform to study potential treatments, led by a top UK expert, and had struck a deal with privately owned U.S. biotech firm Spark Therapeutics to develop a treatment for haemophilia.The Spark programme is expected to enter early-stage clinical trials for haemophilia B in the first half of 2015. Spark will be responsible for the early Phase I/II tests, with Pfizer taking over late-stage studies, any regulatory approvals and potential commercialisation.Spark will get $20 million upfront and be eligible for additional payments based on product success worth up to $260 million.Pfizer's research effort in gene therapy will be led by Michael Linden, a professor from King's College London and director of the University College London Gene Therapy Consortium. Linden is joining Pfizer on a two-year secondment.

Pfizer Inc. (Pfizer) is a research-based, global biopharmaceutical company. Shares of PFE traded higher by 0.13% or $0.0427/share to $32.03. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $27.51 and as high as $32.96. On average, 24991700 shares of PFE exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2727833.