CRISPR Therapeutics, Nkarta partner on gene edited cancer therapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

May 7, 2021 -- CRISPR Therapeutics has established a strategic partnership with Nkarta to research, develop, and commercialize CRISPR/Cas9 gene edited cell therapies for cancer.

Under the agreement, the companies will co-develop and co-commercialize two chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) natural killer (NK) cell product candidates: one that targets the CD70 tumor antigen and the other will be determined later.

Moreover, they will combine cell therapy engineering and manufacturing capabilities to advance the development of a novel NKT-cell product candidate targeting both the adaptive and innate immune systems. Lastly, Nkarta will obtain a license to CRISPR gene editing technology to edit five gene targets in an unlimited number of its own NK cell therapy products.

CRISPR Therapeutics and Nkarta will equally share all research and development costs and profits related to the collaboration. For each noncollaboration product candidate incorporating a gene editing target licensed from CRISPR Therapeutics, Nkarta will retain worldwide rights and pay CRISPR Therapeutics milestone and royalties on net sales.

The agreement includes a three-year exclusivity period between the companies covering research, development, and commercialization of allogeneic, gene edited, donor-derived NK cells and NKT cells.

Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

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