CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia Collaborate with CureVac on mRNA for Gene-Editing Programs
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- Published on Monday, 13 November 2017 16:00
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CureVac’s mRNA technology accessed to express Cas9 for in vivo liver-targeted therapies
ZUG, Switzerland and CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA and TÜBINGEN, Germany, and BOSTON, MA, USA I November 13, 2017 I CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP), a genome editing company focused on creating transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases, Casebia Therapeutics, a joint-venture established by CRISPR Therapeutics and Bayer AG for developing CRISPR-based therapeutics in select disease areas, and CureVac AG, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering mRNA-based drugs, today announced they have signed a collaboration agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, CureVac will develop novel Cas9 mRNA constructs with improved properties for gene editing applications, such as increased potency, decreased duration of expression, and reduced potential for immunogenicity. CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia have obtained an exclusive license to the improved constructs for use in three of their in vivo gene-editing programs in liver diseases. CureVac will also provide mRNA manufacturing through clinical development and commercialization of the three programs. In exchange, CureVac will receive an upfront payment and research funding, and will be eligible to receive development and commercial milestones and royalties on commercialized products arising from the collaboration.
“This collaboration with CRISPR Therapeutics demonstrates the breadth of CureVac’s RNArt® technology and its potential in the field of genome editing,” stated Dan Menichella, CBO of CureVac AG and CEO of CureVac Inc. “With this collaboration we have the opportunity to combine CRISPR’s cutting-edge genome editing technology with CureVac’s mRNA expertise to potentially deliver transformative therapies to patients.”
Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D., President and CBO of CRISPR Therapeutics commented, “Enabling in vivo CRISPR-based therapies is a strategic priority for CRISPR. Together with Casebia, we are continuing to make deliberate investments to access the highest quality technologies for in vivo delivery. CureVac is an industry-leader in mRNA development and manufacturing, and we are excited to have the opportunity to partner with them.”
About CRISPR Therapeutics
CRISPR Therapeutics is a leading gene-editing company focused on developing transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases using its proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing platform. CRISPR/Cas9 is a revolutionary technology that allows for precise, directed changes to genomic DNA. The company's multi-disciplinary team of world-class researchers and drug developers is working to translate this technology into breakthrough human therapeutics in a number of serious diseases. Additionally, CRISPR Therapeutics has established strategic collaborations with Bayer AG and Vertex Pharmaceuticals to develop CRISPR-based therapeutics in diseases with high unmet need. The foundational CRISPR/Cas9 patent estate for human therapeutic use was licensed from the company's scientific founder Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D. CRISPR Therapeutics AG is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, with its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, CRISPR Therapeutics, Inc., and R&D operations based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit http://www.crisprtx.com.
About Casebia Therapeutics
Casebia Therapeutics is a joint venture between Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics, focused on discovering, developing and commercializing CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing therapeutics to treat the genetic causes of bleeding disorders, autoimmune disease, blindness, hearing loss and heart disease. Formed in March 2016, Casebia has access to gene-editing technology from CRISPR Therapeutics in specific disease areas, as well as access to protein engineering expertise and relevant disease know-how through Bayer. Casebia is a free-standing entity, equally owned by Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics, with its own scientific leadership and management team. The company’s Board of Directors has equal composition from Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics. Casebia’s primary base of research operations is in Cambridge, MA, with a second site in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit www.casebia.com.
Founded in Germany in the year 2000, CureVac is a leading company in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology with more than 17 years expertise in handling, optimizing and manufacturing this versatile molecule for medical purposes. The principle of CureVac's proprietary technology is the use of mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce its own proteins capable of fighting a wide range of diseases. The company applies its technologies for the development of cancer therapies, prophylactic vaccines and molecular therapies. The company employs a workforce of around 340 RNA people at locations in Germany and Boston, Mass. To date, CureVac has received approximately $420 million (€400 million) in equity investments including significant investments from SAP founder Dietmar Hopp’s dievini and an investment of $52 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. CureVac has also entered into collaborations with multinational corporations and organizations, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Sanofi Pasteur and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2006, CureVac successfully established the worldwide first GMP facility for the manufacturing of mRNA. In 2017 CureVac started the establishment and construction of industrial scale production facilities. To learn more about CureVac, please visit us at http://www.curevac.com.
SOURCE: CRISPR Therapeutics