Novartis has licensed rights to the use of Homology’s gene editing technology in a new deal between the Swiss giant and the company that it backed in a series B round earlier this year.
Novartis plans to use the technology – a novel way of Adeno associated virus (AAV) vector mediated gene editing by directed homologous recombination (AMEnDR) – to develop candidates for undisclosed ophthalmic and hemoglobinopathy diseases. Homology’s AAV vectors have the capacity to initiate homologous recombination by which DNA letters can be changed via a more efficient and naturally occurring process than other existing vectors.
Whilst the details of the deal have not been released, Homology is confirmed to receive an upfront payment, equity investment, and cash for development programmes. The company will also share US profits from the in vivo hemoglobinopathy with Novartis, and may be entitled to biobucks from eventual sales.
Lloyd Klickstein, head of translational medicines, new indications discovery unit at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, commented, ‘with this collaboration, Novartis is adding another emerging technology to our cell and gene therapy toolbox. We believe Homology’s technology has great potential for development of new therapies. These are early days in the exploration of genome editing technologies for therapeutic use. It’s too early in our collaboration with Homology to discuss timelines, but we are acutely aware of the urgent needs of our patients and our hope is to develop these technologies rapidly to bring definitive new therapies to the clinic.’
Source: Novartis, already up on CRISPR, CAR-T, looks to new gene editing R&D Press Release