Thermo Fisher, another life sciences group pitching in on the future of gene therapy, has announced plans to enter into a definitive agreement to acquire Brammer Bio for approximately $1.7 billion.

The news follows in the footsteps of Roche, Biogen and Pfizer, who have all entered into gene therapy deals since the beginning of the year.

US-based Brammer Bio is a leading viral vector contract development and manufacturing organisation, enabling biopharma customers to deliver breakthrough medicines to patients by unleashing the potential of gene therapies and gene-modified cell therapies, an acquisition which will enable Thermo Fisher to strengthen its leadership in serving pharma and biotech customers.

"Gene therapy is an area of increasing focus for our customers and is fast-evolving given its potential to treat a range of genetic disorders” said Marc Casper, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

He continued, “The combination of Brammer Bio's viral vector capabilities with our GMP production expertise and proprietary bioprocessing and cell culture technologies uniquely positions us to partner with our customers to drive the evolution of this incredibly fast-growing market. The transaction is perfectly aligned with our mission to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.