Bayer, CRISPR christen Casebia
- A joint venture started between German pharma Bayer and immune-therapy biotech CRISPR Therapeutics has signed a lease in Cambridge, MA.
- The new biotech is being dubbed Casebia Therapeutics and will focus on using CRISPR/cas-9 technology to make therapies for blood disorders, blindness and congenital heart disease.
- The partnership was originally established in December 2015 when Bayer injected €335 million (about $379.2 million) in capital into the joint venture.
The joint venture between the two companies closed in the first quarter of 2016. While the new company will have its main research base in the bustling area of Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA, it has been incorporated as a UK company.
Casebia will take advantage of the gene-editing technology used by CRISPR Therapeutics, as well as the protein engineering expertise and disease know-how from Bayer, the companies said in a statement.
Casebia will move into a 33,000-square-foot laboratory space that is in the same location as CRISPR. The company will have 80 employees and expects to be operating by early 2017.
The company will also have space in Bayer's campus in San Francisco's Mission Bay where it will conduct research for hematology indications.
Real estate in the Cambridge area has become a hot commodity for growing biotechs and life science companies. Some companies are exploring alternative arrangements to get space in the location, like a set-up in Mass Innovation Labs. CRISPR is a former tenant of the incubator.
Follow Lisa LaMotta on Twitter