Pharma Focus Asia

Editas Medicine and BlueRock Therapeutics Enter Strategic Research Collaboration and Cross-Licensing Agreement

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Editas Medicine, Inc., a leading genome editing company, and BlueRock Therapeutics, LP, a leading engineered cell therapy company, today announced a strategic research collaboration and cross-licensing agreement to combine their respective genome editing and cell therapy technologies to discover, develop, and manufacture novel engineered cell medicines.

Genome editing and cell therapy technologies are rapidly advancing with the potential to significantly impact the future of medicine. The combination of these two technologies creates a powerful platform for the discovery of new, off-the-shelf engineered cell medicines with transformative potential. As part of the research collaboration, the companies will collaborate to create novel, allogeneic pluripotent stem cell (PSC) lines utilizing a combination of Editas Medicine’s CRISPR genome editing technology and BlueRock’s induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform. The research collaboration will further enable the creation of engineered, differentiated, off-the-shelf cell medicines in the respective fields of oncology, including solid tumors and blood cancers, for Editas Medicine and neurology, cardiology, and immunology for BlueRock. As part of the cross-licensing agreement, BlueRock gains non-exclusive rights to Editas Medicine’s CRISPR technology and intellectual property and Editas Medicine gains non-exclusive rights to BlueRock’s iPSC and cell differentiation technology and intellectual property, in each of their respective fields.  

“BlueRock and Editas share a common belief in the disruptive potential of utilizing an engineered cell as a therapeutic. We are equally committed and passionate about bringing these new treatment options to those living with diseases where the unmet medical need is high and growing,” said Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, BlueRock. “We are thrilled to partner with the world-class scientific team at Editas and believe that this new collaboration will allow both companies to meaningfully expand our pipelines in a manner that further positions both as leaders in our respective fields.”

“We believe combining CRISPR-based genome editing with cell therapy has the potential to deliver game-changing allogeneic medicines, and we are excited to work with the team at BlueRock to develop genome-edited iPSCs with the potential to enable and accelerate the development of numerous, transformative medicines for people with many serious diseases,” said Cindy Collins, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Editas Medicine.

Under the terms of the agreement, each party is responsible for the payment of development, regulatory, and commercial milestones to their respective partner for any licensed engineered cell medicine developed in their respective field as well as royalties on global net product sales.

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