Editas Medicine, a leading genome editing company, announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the Company’s Investigational New Drug (IND) application for EDIT-101, an experimental CRISPR genome editing medicine being investigated for the treatment of Leber Congenital Amaurosis type 10 (LCA10).
“The FDA’s acceptance of our IND for EDIT-101 is a significant moment in the field of genome editing, and importantly, a critical milestone for patients, as we are now one step closer to a treatment for LCA10,” said Katrine Bosley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Editas Medicine. “This moment is a truly exciting one for us, and we look forward to embarking on our next chapter as a clinical stage company, harnessing the power of CRISPR technology to transform the lives of people with serious diseases around the world.”
With the IND acceptance, Editas Medicine has earned a $25 million milestone payment from Allergan as part of the alliance between the companies to discover and develop experimental ocular medicines targeting serious, vision-threatening diseases. Editas Medicine and its partner, Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Limited (Allergan), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allergan plc, expect to enroll 10 to 20 patients in a Phase 1/2 open label, dose escalation study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of EDIT-101.
The Editas Medicine-Allergan Alliance
In March 2017, Editas Medicine and Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Limited (Allergan) 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 commercialization 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. In August 2018, Allergan exercised its option to develop and commercialize EDIT-101 globally for the treatment of LCA10. Additionally, Editas Medicine exercised its option to co-develop and share equally in the profits and losses from EDIT-101 in the United States. Editas Medicine is also eligible to receive development and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments on a per-program basis. 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 (also known as Cas12a).
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