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CRISPR Therapeutics Enters New License Agreement, Shares Up

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CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP - Free Report) and privately-held KSQ Therapeutics entered into a license agreement to gain mutual access to intellectual property (IP) related to editing certain novel gene targets developed individually by them. The financial details have not been disclosed by the companies.

The deal will give CRISPR Therapeutics rights to access KSQ Therapeutics’ intellectual property related to editing of certain novel gene targets in KSQ Therapeutics’ allogeneic oncology cell therapy programs. The company is likely to use KSQ Therapeutics’ IP to strengthen its CAR-T development platform. CRISPR Therapeutics is currently developing two CAR-T therapy candidates, CTX110 and CTX120, for treating CD19+ malignancies and multiple myeloma, respectively.

KSQ Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotech formed in 2015, which is using CRISPR technology to increase the chances of successful drug discovery. This agreement will allow the private biotech to access CRISPR Therapeutics’ IP related to editing of novel gene targets identified by KSQ Therapeutics as part of its eTILcell programs.

Shares of CRISPR Therapeutics were up almost 3.5% on Oct 15, following the announcement. The company’s shares have increased 32.9% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 6.4%.

CRISPR Therapeutics has been focusing on diversifying its pipeline into additional indications.. We note that the company expanded its collaboration agreement in June with its major partner, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX - Free Report) to include new disease areas. With the expansion of the agreement, CRISPR Therapeutics will gain rights to any therapies developed using its technology for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Myotonic dystrophy type 1, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia.

Apart from the Vertex collaboration, CRSIPR also has a joint venture with Bayer AG (BAYRY - Free Report) for developing new therapies using its gene editing technology to cure blood disorders, blindness and congenital heart disease.

Other than CRISPR Therapeutics, Intellia Therapeutics and Editas Medicine, Inc (EDIT - Free Report) plan to carry out clinical studies using CRISPR Cas9 to cure diseases.

Zacks Rank

CRISPR Therapeutics currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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