Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Precision Biosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: DTIL), a biotech company based in Durham, North Carolina, are partnering on a potential treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The companies announced a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement to utilize Precision’s proprietary ARCUS genome editing platform for the research and development of potential in vivo therapies for genetic disorders.
The companies say efforts in the lab will initially focus on Duchenne, but it will also include work on two other undisclosed gene targets.
Lilly says genome editing technologies enable precise editing of the DNA of a living organism, opening up the possibility of correcting genetic problems at their source.
“Gene-edited therapies are emerging as a promising approach to help patients afflicted with genetic conditions,” said Ruth Gimeno, Ph.D., vice president of diabetes and metabolic research at Lilly. “We look forward to working closely with Precision’s scientific team and leveraging their platform to develop and deliver breakthrough medicines for untreated genetic disorders.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Precision will receive an upfront cash payment of $100 million, as well as an equity investment by Lilly of $35 million in Precision’s common stock.
Lilly says Precision is also eligible to receive up to $420 million in potential development and commercialization milestones per product, as well as tiered royalties, assuming a successful commercial launch of the therapy.