RARE Daily

AbbVie Terminates Allergan CRISPR Deal with Editas

August 7, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Editas Medicine said it has regained full global rights to research, develop, manufacture, and commercialization of its ocular medicines that were part of a strategic alliance with Allergan after Allergan’s new owner AbbVie terminated the agreement.

In 2017, Allergan and Editas entered a strategic alliance to discover and develop CRISPR genome editing medicines for eye diseases. The agreement included a $90 million upfront payment to Editas. Under the agreement, Allergan received exclusive access and the option to license up to five of Editas Medicine’s genome-editing ocular programs, including its lead program EDIT-101 for Leber Congenital Amaurosis, which was in pre-clinical development.

AbbVie, which completed its acquisition of Allergan in May, terminated the original agreement and entered into a new agreement, but details of that have not been disclosed.

“We are pleased to regain full operating control of our ocular programs, including EDIT-101, the first in vivo CRISPR medicine to be administered to patients, and we look forward to developing and commercializing these transformative ocular medicines,” said Cynthia Collins, CEO of Editas Medicine.

Collins said Editas is focused on advancing EDIT-101 with dosing resumed in the phase 1/2 BRILLIANCE clinical trial. She said the company is on track to complete dosing of the adult low-dose cohort and to dose at least one patient of the adult mid-dose cohort by the end of this year.

EDIT-101 is a CRISPR-based experimental medicine under investigation for the treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis 10. EDIT-101 is administered via a subretinal injection using the proprietary Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 enzyme, which can be packaged in a single adeno-associated virus to deliver the gene editing machinery to photoreceptor cells.

Photo: Cynthia Collins, CEO of Editas


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