uniQure, an Amsterdam, Netherlands-based provider of human gene therapy, has acquired InoCard, a Germany-based early-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of gene therapy approaches for cardiac disease.
InoCard has developed a novel gene therapy to preclinical proof-of-concept, for the one-time treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF), a rapidly progressing disease affecting 26 million people worldwide.
InoCard founders Patrick Most and Hugo Katus will join uniQure as managing director of uniQure in Germany and chairman of the scientific advisory board for cardiovascular diseases, respectively.
InoCard's lead program is a gene therapy to express the calcium-binding protein S100A1, shown by Most and Katus to be a master regulator of myocardial function.
"Despite the continuously growing prevalence of CHF, there have been no therapeutic innovations in decades. InoCard has successfully laid the basis for the development of a long-term, causative treatment of this devastating disease," said Most. "We believe that combining our promising S100A1 therapy with uniQure's capabilities in innovating safe and effective gene therapies has the potential to transform the treatment of cardiovascular diseases."
InoCard shareholders will receive an upfront payment of $4 million ($2 million in cash and $2 million in uniQure stock), and certain success-based milestones and royalties.