The tech will boost Bayer’s recently established new cell and gene therapy platform, with the collaboration first focusing on liver-targeted diseases.
Under the deal, California’s Mammoth Biosciences will receive an upfront payment of $40m, with potential future milestone payments of more than $1bn.
'Unleashing the potential' of C>
In 2020, Bayer pledged to step up its activities in the field with the launch of its C> Platform, incorporating the acquisitions of BlueRock Therapeutics (2019) and Asklepios Biopharmaceutical (2020).
Bayer says Mammoth’s gene-editing tech will enhance its efforts to develop transformative therapies for patients faster and strengthen its C> Platform.
“Bringing together Mammoth’s novel CRISPR systems with our existing gene augmentation and our induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platforms will allow us to unleash the full potential of our cell and gene therapy strategy,” said Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management, Bayer AG and President of the Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division.
“Partnering with Mammoth’s cutting edge scientific team is a fundamental pillar for our company to improve the lives of patients suffering from conditions that are currently still difficult to treat.”
By addressing the root cause of diseases, cell and gene therapies are potentially capable of permanently reversing diseases with a one-time treatment. Gene editing serves as a key enabler for cell therapies when used outside the living body (ex vivo) and allows therapeutic targeting of a wide range of genetic diseases with a high unmet medical need when used inside the living body (in vivo).
Mammoth Biosciences’ proprietary toolkit of ultra-small Cas enzymes, including Cas14 and Casɸ, allows for expanded high-fidelity gene editing to be combined with targeted systemic delivery, according to the companies. Bayer gains access to this novel gene-editing technology, which offers the potential of an advanced in vivo applicability due to the ultra-compact size of these novel CRISPR systems.
Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will work across five preselected in vivo indications starting with liver-targeted diseases. Bayer will pay research funding and tiered royalties up to low double-digit percentage of net sales. The companies are also exploring work on ex vivo projects on a nonexclusive basis.