Molecular engineering company Scribe Therapeutics has entered into a research collaboration with Biogen for the development of CRISPR-based genetic medicines for neurological diseases.
Under the deal, Scribe Therapeutics and Biogen will develop and commercialise CRISPR-based therapies to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
X-Editing (XE), which is Scribe’s first technology, is said to offer enhanced editing activity and deliverability compared to other currently CRISPR genome editing tools.
Both companies will work together to develop therapeutics for genetically-driven AL. The deal will also enable the companies to study an additional neurological disease target.
As per terms of the agreement, Scribe will secure $15m upfront payment and is eligible to receive over $400m in potential development and commercial milestone payments between on the two targets of interest.
In addition, Scribe will secure tiered, high single-digit to sub-teen royalties from Biogen.
Scribe Therapeutics CEO and co-founder Benjamin Oakes said: “Scribe has designed, engineered and tested thousands of evolved CRISPR enzymes to build an advanced platform for creating a breakthrough in vivo treatments.
“We’re proud to collaborate with Biogen and apply our uniquely customized approaches with the goal of developing new, safe and effective genetic medicines for neurodegenerative disease.”
Established by CRISPR inventors and molecular engineers Benjamin Oakes, Brett Staahl, David Savage, and Jennifer Doudna, Scribe Therapeutics is involved in the development of in vivo therapies.
In March 2019, Biogen agreed to acquire UK-based clinical-stage gene therapy firm Nightstar Therapeutics in a deal valued at around $877m.
Based in London, Nightstar is engaged in the development and commercialisation of one-time treatments for patients with inherited retinal diseases.