Precision and Iecure ink collaboration deal

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

September 9, 2021 -- Precision BioSciences and Iecure have entered a license and collaboration agreement to develop gene editing therapies.

Iecure plans to file a clinical trial application as early as 2022 to advance Precision's PBGENE-PCSK9 clinical candidate through phase I studies for the treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), the companies said.

Precision will retain rights to PBGENE-PCSK9, including products developed for genetic indications with increased risk of severe cardiovascular events such as FH. In return, Precision has granted Iecure a license to use its PCSK9-directed Arcus nuclease to insert genes into the PCSK9 locus to develop treatments for four other prespecified, rare genetic diseases.

Precision will receive an equity stake in Iecure and is eligible to receive milestone and royalty payments on sales of Iecure products developed with Arcus.

In a separate announcement, Iecure said that it had raised $50 million in a financing round led by Versant Ventures and OrbiMed Advisors. The funds will help Iecure advance its pipeline of up to 13 programs, all of which benefit from gene editing and in vivo delivery approaches, the company said.

Iecure holds exclusive licensing rights to three liver disorder programs currently being developed in the laboratory of Dr. James Wilson, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania Gene Therapy Program (GTP).

Under a joint research and development agreement, GTP will continue to lead preclinical research activities until Iecure files investigational new drug applications. Following the filing of its IND applications, Iecure said it will execute the clinical studies and prepare for potential commercialization of its therapies.

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