Precision BioSciences Regains Rights to In Vivo Hepatitis B Virus Program

DURHAM, NC, USA I July 06, 2020 I Precision BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: DTIL), a clinical stage biotechnology company dedicated to improving life with its novel and proprietary ARCUS® genome editing platform, today announced that the Company will regain full rights and all data it generated for the in vivo chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) program developed under its 2018 collaboration agreement with Gilead Sciences.

“This was a highly productive and well-aligned collaboration, and we deeply value the opportunity to advance our ARCUS genome editing technology and a potential cure for HBV alongside a global leader in infectious disease,” commented Derek Jantz, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Precision BioSciences. “Key learnings from this program and how to develop liver-directed gene editing therapeutic candidates are directly applicable to our in vivo pipeline. While we consider new partnership opportunities for HBV, we are focused on progressing our internal lead proprietary gene correction program for primary hyperoxaluria type 1 for which we expect to nominate a clinical candidate later this year.”

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Precision BioSciences was primarily responsible for the development, formulation, and preclinical evaluation of the investigational nucleases for HBV; Gilead funded the research and development and was responsible for the clinical development and commercialization of potential therapies. Upon the collaboration’s conclusion, effective September 4, 2020, Precision BioSciences will regain full clinical development and commercialization rights to the program.

The Company does not anticipate any changes to its cash runway. As of March 31, 2020, Precision had cash and cash equivalents of $154.2 million, which is expected to sufficiently fund operations into the second half of 2021.

About Precision’s In Vivo Program for Chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)
By directly targeting cccDNA and integrated HBV genomes, preclinical data have shown that ARCUS gene editing may be a promising approach for developing a potential HBV cure. Preclinical data presented earlier this year at the 2020 American Society of Genetic & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Annual Meeting demonstrated that an optimized ARCUS nuclease effectively targeted and degraded cccDNA up to 75% with subsequent knockdown of surface antigen in HBV-infected primary human hepatocytes. Data from murine studies also showed that an ARCUS nuclease delivered by lipid nanoparticle (LNP) edited an HBV DNA target up to 70% after a single administration in vivo.

About Precision BioSciences, Inc.
Precision BioSciences, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company dedicated to improving life (DTIL) with its novel and proprietary ARCUS® genome editing platform. ARCUS is a highly specific and versatile genome editing platform that was designed with therapeutic safety, delivery, and control in mind. Using ARCUS, the Company’s pipeline consists of multiple “off-the-shelf” CAR T immunotherapy clinical candidates and several in vivo gene correction therapy candidates to cure genetic and infectious diseases where no adequate treatments exist. For more information about Precision BioSciences please visit  

SOURCE: Precision BioSciences

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