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eeking to expand its strategic footprint, Regeneron (REGN) Pharmaceuticals will provide access to its technology to a small company that has big hopes of discovering medicines to prevent and treat hearing loss. And in exchange, Regeneron is taking an undisclosed equity stake and is slated to receive royalties from any drugs that might one day reach medicine chests.

The deal with Decibel Therapeutics, a privately held company that was launched two years ago, marks only the second time that Regeneron has reached such an arrangement with a preclinical-stage company to discover and develop medicines. Last year, Regeneron reached a similar arrangement with Adicet Bio to develop immune cell therapeutics, although an equity position was not part of that deal.

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