Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC), a gene therapy research company, has cemented itself as one of the most successful University of Florida research derivatives. AGTC is now allowing Biogen, a global biotechnology firm, to license its manufacturing process in exchange for a $94 million licensing fee. Biogen is also purchasing an eight percent ownership stake in the company for $30 million. AGTC could also have more financial backing heading its way; Biogen has the option to license three of its genetic therapies for an additional $592.5 million. AGTC plans to increase its amount of employees as well as increase the space it is leasing in Progress Park of Alachua to 20,000 square feet with the capital investment.
AGTC was started by five former students of the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina in 1999. Sue Washer, the current president and CEO, is enthused with the financial interest Biogen has taken in the company. She has indicated that the greatest asset Biogen brings to the table is its distribution capabilities. AGTC’s therapies are expected to be commercially available by as early as 2019.