New collaboration could unlock potential of CRISPR systems

11 January 2022 | Muriel Cozier

‘…Cell and gene therapies are the next step in the evolution of drug development.’

Bayer and US-based Mammoth Biosciences have established a ‘strategic collaboration and option agreement,’ for the use of Mammoth’s CRISPR system to develop in vivo gene-editing therapies. A co-founder of Mammoth Biosciences is the CRISPR pioneer and joint recipient of the 2020 Noble Prize for Chemistry, Jennifer Doudna.

Bayer said that the Mammoth Bioscience gene editing technology will significantly enhance its efforts to develop ‘transformative therapies for patients faster, and strengthen the company’s recently established cell and gene therapy platform.’ Under the terms of the agreement the two companies will start their collaboration with a focus on liver-targeted diseases.

The agreement will see Mammoth Biosciences receive an upfront payment of $40 million and is ‘eligible to receive target option exercise fees as well as potential future payments in the magnitude of more than one billion US dollars upon successful achievement of certain research, development and commercial milestones across five preselected in vivo indications with a first focus on liver-targeted diseases.’ Bayer also said that it will pay research funding and tiered royalties up to ‘low double digit percentage of net sales.’ The companies are also exploring work on ex vivo projects on a nonexclusive basis.

Bayer said that cell and gene therapies are the next step in the evolution of drug development. ‘By addressing the root cause of diseases, they are potentially capable of permanently reversing diseases with a one-time treatment,’ Bayer said.

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