RARE Daily

Beam Completes Acquisition of GuideTx

February 23, 2021

Rare Daily Staff

Precision genetic medicines developer Beam Therapeutics said it has completed the acquisition of Guide Therapeutics, a developer of nonviral drug delivery vehicles for genetic medicines.

The acquisition expands the potential reach of Beam’s genetic medicines into new target tissues and diseases.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Beam paid upfront consideration of $120 million, excluding customary purchase price adjustments, in Beam common stock. In addition to the upfront payment, GuideTx stockholders will be eligible to receive up to an additional $320 million in technology and product success based milestone payments, payable in Beam common stock. Additional financial details were not disclosed.

“Since our founding, Beam’s strategy has been to establish the leading, fully integrated platform for precision genetic medicine,” said John Evans, CEO of Beam. “We believe that the innovative scientists and technology at GuideTx will enable us to broaden the reach of gene editing even further. This investment represents a significant expansion of Beam’s ongoing investment in a full suite of innovative delivery technologies for genetic medicines, and potential lifelong cures, for a wide range of diseases.”

GuideTx has advanced lipid nanoparticle (LNP) discovery with proprietary in vivo LNP screening technology. This technology utilizes DNA barcodes, which are DNA sequences rationally designed to act as molecular tags for specific nanoparticles. The company said using this approach, hundreds of nanoparticles can be screened simultaneously in a single experiment, potentially generating in vivo drug delivery data at significantly greater rates compared to traditional experiments.

Beam believes that sequencing of these data in diverse tissues of interest will enable identification of LNPs with novel biodistribution and high selectivity for target cells. Using this platform, GuideTx has identified a broad library of lipids and lipid formulations that could accelerate novel delivery of gene editing payloads to tissues beyond the liver.

“Beam’s distinguished team and strengths in the development of genetic medicines makes them an ideal partner to advance our technology,” said Julie Sunderland, chairwoman of GuideTx. “We believe that integrating GuideTx’s proprietary LNPs and high throughput LNP discovery engine with Beam’s base editing, mRNA payloads, and manufacturing capabilities will unlock the full potential of our platform to deliver the promise of genetic medicines to the greatest number of patients.”

Photo: Julie Sunderland, chairwoman of GuideTx

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