June 21 Quick Takes: Precision, Novartis in gene editing collaboration
Plus Galapagos acquires two companies, BioMarin gains an approval in Japan and updates from Merck & Co., BeiGene, Therorna, Acer and more
Precision BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ:DTIL) will develop a custom ARCUS nuclease for the one-time treatment of certain hemoglobinopathies such as sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, and then exclusively license it to Novartis AG (SIX:NOVN; NYSE:NVS) for development, manufacturing and commercialization. Precision, whose stock rose $0.33 (24%) to $1.72 in after-hours trading, will receive an upfront payment of $75 million and is eligible to receive up to $1.4 billion in milestone payments, as well as research funding and tiered royalties on product sales ranging from the mid-single digits to low-double digits. Precision said the deal extends its cash runway into 2Q24.
Galapagos N.V. (Euronext:GLPG; NASDAQ:GLPG) has gained the decentralized cell therapy and antibody-based therapeutics platforms of CellPoint B.V. and Aboundbio Inc., respectively, following its acquisition of both companies. Galapagos paid €125 million ($131.8 million) for CellPoint, with an additional €100 million to be paid upon achievement of certain milestones, to gain its CAR T therapy technology. The company has a six-day manufacturing process and a deal with Lonza Group Ltd. (SIX:LONN); its CD19 CAR T therapy is in Phase I/IIa testing. Galapagos is paying $14 million for AboundBio, gaining access to human antibody libraries that can incorporate different binder formats, including VH domains, scFvs and Fabs, into various therapeutic platforms. The deals are among the first for Galapagos since it recruited former Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) CSO Paul Stoffels to be its CEO in January...