Oxford BioMedica has secured a collaboration and license agreement with fellow UK biotech Orchard Therapeutics centred on developing gene therapies for orphan diseases.

The group has agreed to develop and supply lentiviral vectors used by Orchard for the manufacture of ex-vivo gene therapy products in primary immune deficiency disorders and inherited metabolic disorders, including adenosine deaminase severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID), Mucopolysaccharidosis-IIIA (MPS-IIIA or Sanfilippo Syndrome type A) and undisclosed follow-on indications.

Orchard will lead the global clinical development and commercialisation of these collaboration programmes in Europe, the US and in other regions.

In return, Oxford BioMedica has bagged a 1.95 percent equity stake in Orchard, and also stands to receive royalties on future sales of collaboration products. Performance-related incentives could also see the gene and cell therapy group receive a further 1.95 percent equity stake in Orchard.

"We expect that Oxford BioMedica's expertise in the development and manufacture of lentiviral vectors, along with their proven experience of working with global pharma companies will accelerate our ability to potentially address a series of devastating genetic diseases," commented Stewart Craig, Orchard's chief manufacturing officer. "We are excited about the potential for this alliance to deliver real patient benefits."