Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics JV starts operations in Massachusetts, US

PBR Staff Writer Published 22 August 2016

Casebia Therapeutics, the joint venture (JV) between Bayer and gene editing company CRISPR Therapeutics, has commenced its operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US.

The JV, which was initially announced in December 2015, will focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of new therapeutics to treat blood disorders, blindness, and congenital heart disease.

The agreement was closed in the first quarter of this year. As part of the deal, Bayer will invest $300m in the JV for research and development over a five-year period, and  is acquiring a minority stake in CRISPR Therapeutics for $35m in cash.

Casebia will use CRISPR’s gene-editing technology, and Bayer’s protein engineering expertise and marketing know-how.

Casebia Therapeutics interim CEO Axel Bouchon said: “We are excited to engage the broader life science community in Boston now through Casebia.

“As we establish and grow Casebia’s therapeutic programs, this new location will provide us with state-of-the-art infrastructure, access to the vibrant biotech environment of the Kendall Square area, and facilitate close collaboration with CRISPR Therapeutics.”

Casebia is leasing about 33,000 square feet of space at 610 Main Street North in Cambridge, which is currently under construction. The building, which will be nine stories tall, is owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The JV will be co-located with CRISPR’s research operations base. Research efforts will be undertaken through the several R&D sites of Bayer and CRISPR in the US and Germany.

A further location on Bayer’s campus in San Francisco, Mission Bay will house research operations in hematology indications.