Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and Obsidian Therapeutics announced today that the two companies have entered into a strategic research collaboration and licensing agreement focused on the discovery of novel therapies that regulate gene editing for the treatment of serious diseases. The collaboration leverages Obsidian’s cytoDRiVE® platform technology to discover gene-editing medicines whose therapeutic activity can be precisely controlled using small molecules and Vertex’s established scientific and clinical capabilities in small molecule, cell and genetic therapies to more rapidly bring these approaches to patients.
Under the terms of the agreement, Obsidian will use its cytoDRiVE technology to develop novel regulated gene editing therapy candidates for multiple serious diseases. Obsidian grants Vertex the exclusive option to license worldwide rights to candidates discovered and developed under the collaboration. Following Vertex’s exercise of its options, Vertex will be responsible for further preclinical and clinical development and commercialization.
Vertex will pay Obsidian up to $75 million in upfront payments and research milestones that may be paid during the research term, including an equity investment in Obsidian. Obsidian is eligible to receive up to $1.3 billion in potential payments based upon the successful achievement of specified research, development, regulatory, and commercial milestones across up to five potential programs. In addition, Vertex will pay tiered royalties on future net sales on any products that may result from this collaboration. Specific diseases that are the subject of this collaboration are not disclosed.