Biotech billionaire inks ocular pipeline pact with India's Sun

Biotech billionaire Randal "RJ" Kirk has struck another development deal with an unorthodox biopharma partner. Coming off a big IPO score, his synthetic biology company Intrexon ($XON) has announced plans to partner with India's Sun Pharmaceutical on a pipeline of new drugs for ocular diseases, starting with dry age-related macular degeneration. Intrexon will put its technology for manipulating gene expression to work in the deal, with plans to expand into wet AMD, macular edema, noninfectious uveitis and diabetic retinopathy. "Using our RTS platform, the goal is to engineer a gene-based ocular treatment in which the concentration, location and timing of protein expression can be controlled with small molecule therapy," said Dr. Samuel Broder, SVP of Intrexon's health sector and former director of the National Cancer Institute. "In combination with Sun Pharma's tremendous development and manufacturing experience, we hope to produce a therapy that is minimally invasive as well as maximally effective in treating these debilitating diseases." Release