CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP) and Casebia Therapeutics Inc. are partnering with privately-held MaxCyte Inc. for the non-exclusive commercial rights to MaxCyte’s cell engineering platform to develop CRISPR/Cas9-based therapies. (See also, The Gene-Editing Revolution: What Is CRISPR-Cas9?)

Casebia Therapeutics is a joint venture between CRISPR Therapeutics and Bayer AG (BAYRY) that develops drugs to treat blood disorders, blindness, and heart disease. It is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

To Develop Hemoglobin Disease Drugs

Under the deal, MaxCyte will supply its cell engineering platform, called Flow Electroporation technology, that will be used by CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia to develop CRISPR/Cas9-based therapies for hemoglobin-related diseases and severe combined immunodeficiency.

MaxCyte will get an upfront payment, and will also be eligible to receive milestones payments as well as sales-based payments. Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia's lead programs are based on ex vivo gene editing, where an organ, cells, or tissue are taken from a living body for treatment, fabricated using precise, directed changes to genomic DNA, and then returned to the living body.

MaxCyte’s cell engineering technology is expected to help CRISPR and Casebia develop components with higher precision. MaxCyte’s patented technology platform offers seamless scalability that can help its partners navigate various stages of drug development through large commercial manufacturing.

"With Casebia and CRISPR Therapeutics working closely together, we hope to make bold investments and accelerate our efforts to access and acquire all the leading platform technologies necessary to develop and commercialize CRISPR-based therapeutics," said Jim Burns, CEO of Casebia.

Following the deal announcement, CRISPR stock price surged 5% Tuesday morning to hit an intraday high of $22.19 per share.

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