- Cambridge-based Editas Medicine, one of leading companies developing CRISPR gene-editing tech, announced Thursday it is entering a collaborative R&D deal with Milan-based San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-TIGET) to develop genome edited hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) and T cell therapies.
- SR-TIGET recently partnered with GlaxoSmithKline on the development for a new stem cell therapy for treatment of a rare immune disorder, and has collaborated with Biogen on gene therapies for hemophilia A and hemophilia B.
- The work in Italy will be led by Dr. Luigi Naldini, the director of SR-TIGET, who is known as a lentiviral gene therapy expert. Editas and SR-TIGET plan to focus on gene correction approaches to rare diseases, specifically in the blood and bone marrow.
Editas has attracted a long list of backers, including Bill Gates, since it was founded in 2013. The company inked a deal with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in May, as well as a deal with Juno in which Editas will provide its CAR-T platform for work on oncology treatments. In addition, Editas pulled off a successful Nasdaq IPO earlier this year, raising $94.4 million in a shaky market for biotechs.
This deal will allow Editas to further broaden its reputation and reach in the gene editing space through a partnership with a top-tier player in the European gene therapy world.
“Dr. Naldini and SR-TIGET are world leaders in gene therapy," said Katrine Bosley, CEO of Editas, emphasizing a great potential synergy between the two teams. "They have pioneered many important scientific advancements working with cells of the immune system and have extensive expertise in translating that work into cell-based therapies."