Novo Nordisk strikes potential $2B-plus gene editing deal with Durham’s Life Edit

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Gene editing from a Durham-based firm that will target possible new therapeutics has led to a deal with international drug firm Novo Nordisk worth a potential $2 billion if not more.

Life Edit, which is owned by Boston based ElevateBio, and Novo Nordisk, which has a big presence in the Triangle, announced the deal Wednesday.

As part of it, NovoNordisk also is making an equity investment (amount not disclosed) in Life Edit’s parent.

“The advancements we’ve made to our next-generation gene editing platform and base editing capabilities are opening the next frontier of treating disease through DNA editing,” said Mitchell Finer, chief executive officer of Life Edit as well as president for research and development at ElevateBio. “Combining our Life Edit platform and the ability to make any edit anywhere with Novo Nordisk’s deep disease biology and engineering expertise will bring us closer to delivering potentially curative therapies for some of the world’s most challenging genetic diseases.”

Here’s the skinny on the deal:

  • Life Edit receives between $250 million and $335 million for as many as development programs
  • The company also has a chance to share in the profits of one program
  • NovoNordisk is an investor in a $401 million funding round raised by Elevate Bio

Programs to be pursued include rare genetic disorders and prevalent cardiometabolic diseases, the companies said.

“Novo Nordisk will be responsible for all research and development costs and Life Edit is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on future net sales of therapeutic products,” Novo Nordisk said.

“At Novo Nordisk, we are committed to continuously building and leveraging technology platforms that open up new opportunities across our therapeutic areas to deliver potentially curative treatment options to people living with serious chronic diseases,” said Marcus Schindler, PhD, professor, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Novo Nordisk. “We are excited about the opportunity to co-create novel treatments for multiple genetic diseases based on Life Edit’s gene editing technologies.”

Original Article Source: WRAL Techwire