CRIPSR’s hype is not going down yet.
CRIPSR/Cas9 or Cpf1 is a revolutionising gene editing tool, which almost won the Nobel Prize of this year (it won nearly all the other biology prizes already).
It also caught great interest from the industry and venture capitalists. The leading Biotechs includes:
- Editas, Boston-based and clozed a $120M found last August
- Intellia, also in Boston and raised $70M in September
- CRISPR Therapeutics, the European challenger, which closed a €79.5M round last April
Now CRISPR Therapeutics has just signed a massive €2.29Bn Deal.
It was signed with Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals. This 2000+ employee company is the third biggest Biotech in Boston after Genzyme (now part of Sanofi) and Biogen.
The goal of this collaboration is to develop treatments aimed at the underlying genetic causes of human disease. It will start on discovering treatments to address the mutations and genes known to cause and contribute to Cystic fibrosis (the special focus of Vertex) and Sickle Cell Anemia.Emmanuelle Charpentier, co-discoverer of CRISPR-Cas9 Technology and co-founder of CRISPR Therapeutics
This deal includes an up-front of $105 million to CRISPR Therapeutics, including $75 million in cash and a $30 million equity investment. CRISPR Therapeutics is also eligible to receive future development, regulatory and sales milestones and royalty payments on future sales.
This sounds like a great deal for both companies. Vertex was struggling a year ago, in case of a failure in its last Phase III drug development against Cystic Fibrosis.
CRISPR Therapeutics on the other hand was lagging behind compared to Editas and Intellia. Having a strong partner such as Vertex could help a rapid development forward.
The field of CRISPR has not finished to surprise us, it actually just started!