- Bayer is partnering with CRISPR Therapeutics to focus on using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to fix malfunctioning cells associated with blood disorders, blindness, and congenital heart disease.
- Bayer will fund 300 million euros in research to be conducted jointly, as well as buying a small stake in CRISPR for an additional 35 million euros.
- The joint venture will be owned 50-50 between the two partners.
Bayer will have to figure out how to bring the gene-editing mechanism to cells in order to target chronic diseases. Once in place, CRISPR technology will allow the venture to ‘edit’ genes and repair defects which predispose or weaken patients to a disease's effects.
Bayer maintains an option to secure exclusive rights in the areas of blood disorders, blindness, and congenital heart disease. However, CRISPR Therapeutics maintains rights in all other disease areas.
CRISPR-Cas9 is red-hot in the biopharma industry right now, and the technological advances in the space have already compelled top scientists from around the globe to discuss its ethical implications.
CRISPR partnered with Kalydeco maker Vertex in a $2.6 billion gene-editing pact back in November, and big names such as Bill Gates have gotten involved in the therapeutic space this year through investments in other closely watched biotechs like Editas.