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Allergan (AGN) and Editas Tie Up to Treat Eye Diseases

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Allergan plc (AGN - Free Report) , and Editas Medicine, Inc. (EDIT - Free Report) , entered into a strategic research and development agreement. According to the agreement, Allergan will receive exclusive access and the option to license up to five of Editas Medicine's genome-editing ocular programs, including its lead program. Editas Medicine's lead program is being developed for the potential treatment of LCA10, a rare, inherited retinal degenerative disease that appears in childhood and leads to blindness.

Edit’s share price was up around 5% following the news.

Allergan’s share price has decreased 14% year to date, while the Zacks classified Medical-Generic Drugs industry gained 4.2%.


Editas Medicine is a leading genome editing company that treats patients with genetically-defined diseases by correcting their disease-causing genes.

Per the agreement, Editas Medicine will receive an upfront payment of $90 million for the development of five candidate programs. The company will also be entitled to receive development and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments on a per-program basis. On the other hand, Allergan will have the option to license up to five programs and will develop and commercialize the optioned products, subject to Editas' option right to co-develop and co-promote up to two optioned products in the U.S.  

The agreement includes early stage, first-in-class ocular programs targeting serious diseases based on Editas Medicine's CRISPR genome editing platform, including CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cpf1. CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a dynamic technology that allows researchers to permanently modify genes and has the potential to create medicines with a durable treatment effect.

The technology has the potential to transform the treatment of many genetic and non-genetically derived diseases, including diseases and conditions of the eye. The CRISPR genome editing platform complement’s Allergan’s portfolio which has eye care development programs with large unmet medical need.

Allergan’s focus is on core therapeutic areas like eye care, aesthetics, CNS, GI, anti-infectives, women's health and urology. In 2016, Allergan bought private clinical stage biotechnology companies, RetroSense Therapeutics and ForSight VISION 5, which boosted its eye care pipeline.

Allergan PLC. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Allergan PLC. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Allergan PLC. Quote

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Infinity is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some other better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Heska Corporation (HSKA - Free Report) and Retrophin, Inc. (RTRX - Free Report) . Heska and Retrophin carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Heska’s earnings estimates increased from $1.53 to $1.65 for 2017 and from $1.90 to $2.01 for 2018 over the last 30 days. The company posted a positive earnings surprise in all of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 291.54%. Its share price increased 30.7% year to date.

Retrophin’s loss estimates narrowed from 85 cents to 72 cents for 2017 and from 67 cents to 53 cents for 2018 over the last 30 days. The company posted a positive earnings surprise in three of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 80.55%.  

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