Vertex and Obsidian team up on controllable genetic therapies

Published: 26 April 2021

Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Obsidian Therapeutics have announced a strategic research collaboration and licensing agreement focused on discovering novel therapies that regulate gene editing.

Obsidian will use its cytoDRiVE platform technology to develop novel gene editing therapy candidates for multiple serious diseases. Vertex will have the exclusive option to license worldwide rights to the candidates discovered and developed under the collaboration. Vertex will then be responsible for further preclinical and clinical development, and commercialization.

Vertex will pay up to $75 million in equity, upfront payments and potential research milestones, while Obsidian stands to receive up to $1.3 billion in potential payments based upon the successful achievement of certain R&D, regulatory, and commercial milestones. In addition, Vertex will pay tiered royalties on future net sales on any products resulting from the collaboration.

The specific “serious diseases” being targeted under the agreement were not disclosed by the companies.

“At Obsidian, we’re using our cytoDRiVE technology to pioneer a new generation of engineered cell and gene therapies for patients with serious diseases,” said Paul Wotton, CEO of Obsidian Therapeutics, in a statement. “Partnering with Vertex, an established leader at the forefront of genetic therapies, will further advance our technology into the gene therapy field and accelerate development of controllable gene editing therapies for patients.”