Allergan & Editas announce joint development of EDIT-101

Allergan plc, a global pharmaceutical company, and Editas Medicine, Inc., a genome editing company, have announced that Allergan has exercised its option to develop and commercialise CRISPR Genome Editing Experimental Medicine EDIT-101 globally for the treatment of LCA10 (Leber’s congenital amaurosis).

Additionally, the two companies announced that Editas Medicine has exercised its option to co-develop and share equally in the profits and losses from EDIT-101 in the United States. Under the terms of the option agreement signed in March 2017, Allergan has paid Editas Medicine a fee of $15 million in conjunction with the exercise of its option.

“CRISPR-based medicines have the potential to be game-changers for patients with both genetically-defined and genetically-treatable diseases of the eye.”

In March 2017, the two companies entered a strategic alliance and option agreement under which Allergan received exclusive access and the option to license up to five of Editas Medicine’s genome editing programs for ocular diseases, including EDIT-101. Under the terms of the agreement, Allergan is responsible for development and commercialisation of optioned products, subject to Editas Medicine’s option to co-develop and share equally in the profits and losses of two optioned products in the United States. The agreement covers a range of first-in-class ocular programs targeting serious, vision-threatening diseases based on Editas Medicine’s unparalleled CRISPR genome editing platform, including CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cpf1.

David Nicholson, Ph.D., Chief Research and Development Officer, Allergan said, “CRISPR-based medicines have the potential to be game-changers for patients with both genetically-defined and genetically-treatable diseases of the eye. The Allergan team is excited to work with colleagues at Editas Medicine to develop EDIT-101 and potentially deliver a transformative medicine for LCA10 patients.”

Katrine Bosley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Editas Medicine said, “Today marks a significant milestone in our collaboration with Allergan and in our work to develop genomic medicines to treat eye diseases. Allergan is a long-time innovator in ophthalmology, and their experience in developing, manufacturing, and commercialising medicines globally will meaningfully advance the EDIT-101 program and maximise our ability to bring this transformative medicine to people living with LCA10.”