MeiraGTx has announced a strategic collaboration with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen to develop and commercialise gene therapy treatments for inherited retinal diseases (IRDs).

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will collaborate in the clinical development of MeiraGTx’s leading IRD pipeline, including product candidates for achromatopsia (ACHM) caused by mutations in either CNGB3 or CNGA3 and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP).

MeiraGTx will receive $100 million in cash as an upfront payment and is eligible to receive additional payments for achieving development and sales milestones related to its CNGB3, CNGA3 and XLRP programs of up to $340 million, and untiered royalties of 20% of annual net sales for the CNGB3, CNGA3 and XLRP programs, whilst Janssen has agreed to fund all clinical development and commercialisation costs for these programs.

The two companies are also entering into a research collaboration to develop a pipeline of IRD gene therapy candidates; of which a significant portion of the costs of the research collaboration will be paid by Janssen.

MeiraGTx currently has three ongoing clinical programs in IRDs, with a fourth program expected to enter clinical development in 1H2019, as well as a deep pipeline of pre-clinical IRD programs for a variety of gene mutations.