Allergan, Inc. issued the following announcement on Aug. 6.
Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), a leading global pharmaceutical company, and Editas Medicine, Inc. (NASDAQ: EDIT), a leading genome editing company, today announced that Allergan's wholly-owned subsidiary, Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Limited (Allergan), has exercised its option to develop and commercialize EDIT-101 globally for the treatment of LCA10. Additionally, the two companies announced that Editas Medicine has exercised its option to co-develop and share equally in the profits and losses from EDIT-101 in the United States. Under the terms of the option agreement signed in March 2017, Allergan has paid Editas Medicine a fee of $15 million in conjunction with the exercise of its option. Editas Medicine is eligible to receive an additional $25 million from Allergan upon acceptance of an investigational new drug (IND) application for EDIT-101 by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
"CRISPR-based medicines have the potential to be game-changers for patients with both genetically-defined and genetically-treatable diseases of the eye," said David Nicholson, Ph.D., Chief Research and Development Officer, Allergan. "The Allergan team is excited to work with colleagues at Editas Medicine to develop EDIT-101 and potentially deliver a transformative medicine for LCA10 patients."
"Today marks a significant milestone in our collaboration with Allergan and in our work to develop genomic medicines to treat eye diseases," said Katrine Bosley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Editas Medicine. "Allergan is a long-time innovator in ophthalmology, and their deep experience in developing, manufacturing, and commercializing medicines globally will meaningfully advance the EDIT-101 program and maximize our ability to bring this transformative medicine to people living with LCA10."
In March 2017, the two companies 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. Editas Medicine is also eligible to receive development and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments on a per-program basis where the parties are not sharing profits and losses. 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.
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