Pfizer will collaborate with Beam Therapeutics in a deal worth as much as $1.35 billion to develop therapies for rare genetic diseases.
Beam will receive $300 million in upfront payment and lead research activities till three new therapy targets are selected for development from outside the firm’s existing programmes, the companies said yesterday.
Pfizer will then be responsible for development and regulatory activities for the targets, with the option to opt in on exclusive, worldwide licences for each.
Beam, which went public in February 2020, uses gene-editing technology to develop treatments for rare genetic diseases.
Gene therapies aim to correct certain diseases by replacing the missing or mutated version of a gene found in a patient’s cells with healthy copies, making them the world’s most expensive drugs.
Last year, Beam entered a partnership with Apellis Pharmaceuticals for six research programmes.
If Beam chooses to co-develop and co-commercialise any target under the Pfizer agreement, it will be entitled to 35 per cent of the total net profits and costs.
Beam is also eligible to receive royalties on net sales for each target under the agreement that has an initial term of four years and can be extended for an additional year.