Bagsværd, Denmark and Durham, NC, US, 24 May 2023 – Novo Nordisk and Life Edit Therapeutics, Inc., an ElevateBio company focused on next-generation gene editing technologies and therapeutics, today announced a research and development collaboration to discover and develop gene editing therapies against a select set of therapeutic targets.
With a focus on advancing base editing capabilities, Novo Nordisk will leverage Life Edit’s suite of gene editing technologies to precisely edit the genome with the aim of developing life-changing therapies for rare genetic disorders as well as more prevalent cardiometabolic diseases.
“At Novo Nordisk, we are committed to continuously building and leveraging technology platforms that open up new opportunities across our therapeutic areas to deliver potentially curative treatment options to people living with serious chronic diseases,” said Marcus Schindler, PhD, professor, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Novo Nordisk. “We are excited about the opportunity to co-create novel treatments for multiple genetic diseases based on Life Edit’s gene editing technologies.”
Base editing is a method of gene editing that converts one nucleotide base (a structural component of DNA) into another without cutting both strands of DNA. This is achieved by coupling an enzyme known as a nuclease, modified to cut only one DNA strand, to another enzyme known as a deaminase that edits the target nucleotide base. This precision is intended to reduce the risk of off-target effects and makes base editing a potentially effective approach for correcting genetic mutations associated with diseases.
The collaboration between the two companies allows for development of up to seven programmes. Under the agreement, Life Edit will receive an upfront cash payment and is eligible to receive potential development, regulatory, and commercial milestones of 335 million US dollars for each of the first two development programmes under the collaboration and up to 250 million dollars for each of the following five development programmes under the collaboration. Novo Nordisk will be responsible for all research and development costs and Life Edit is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on future net sales of therapeutic products. In addition, Life Edit has an option to a global profit share on one programme.
Moreover, Novo Nordisk will make an equity investment in ElevateBio, Life Edit’s parent company, as part of ElevateBio’s 401 million US dollars Series D financing.
“The advancements we’ve made to our next-generation gene editing platform and base editing capabilities are opening the next frontier of treating disease through DNA editing,” said Mitchell Finer, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Life Edit Therapeutics and President, R&D, ElevateBio. “Combining our Life Edit platform and the ability to make any edit anywhere with Novo Nordisk’s deep disease biology and engineering expertise will bring us closer to delivering potentially curative therapies for some of the world’s most challenging genetic diseases.”
Life Edit is part of ElevateBio’s integrated ecosystem of R&D platform technologies and end-to-end process development and cGMP manufacturing capabilities built to power the creation of life-transforming cell and gene therapies.
Life Edit’s gene editing platform holds one of the world's largest and most diverse libraries of novel RNA-guided nucleases (RGNs) and base editors that provide flexible editing and unprecedented access to the genome. Life Edit’s nuclease collection features a range of protospacer adjacent motifs (PAMs), short sequences that determine the DNA segments in the genome to which a nuclease can bind. The PAM diversity of Life Edit’s nucleases enables base editing at more sites than any one nuclease could access, enabling the targeting of genetic mutations in tighter windows and providing broad genome access.
Life Edit Therapeutics, Inc., an ElevateBio company, is a next-generation genome editing company that has built a highly innovative platform with one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of novel RNA-guided nucleases (RGNs) and base editors. The platform allows Life Edit to target any genomic sequence and potentially develop novel human therapeutics for the most challenging genetic diseases by enabling ex vivo engineering for cell therapies and regenerative medicines and in vivo delivery of gene therapies. In addition to developing its own pipeline of cell and gene therapies, Life Edit will continue to strengthen its platform of genome-editing enzymes, provide gene-editing expertise to strategic partners, and form other third-party partnerships to discover and develop new therapies.
ElevateBio is a technology-driven company built to power the development of transformative cell and gene therapies today and for many decades to come. The company’s integrated technologies model offers turnkey scale and biotechnological capabilities to power cell and gene therapy processes, programs and companies to their full potential. The ElevateBio ecosystem combines multiple R&D technology platforms – including Life Edit, a next-generation, full-spectrum gene-editing platform; a proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform, and an RNA, cell, protein, and vector engineering platform – with BaseCamp®, its end-to-end genetic medicine cGMP manufacturing and process development business, to power the discovery and development of advanced therapeutics.
In addition to enabling a broad breadth of biopharmaceutical companies in the development of their novel cell and gene therapies, ElevateBio is also building a highly innovative pipeline of cellular, genetic, and regenerative medicines. ElevateBio aims to be the dominant engine inside the world’s greatest scientific advancements harnessing human cells and genes to alter disease. For more, visit www.elevate.bio or follow ElevateBio on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines, and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 57,100 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. For more information, visit novonordisk.com, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Martin Havtorn Petersen
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Allison Schneider (US)
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Daniel Muusmann Bohsen
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David Heiberg Landsted
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Jacob Martin Wiborg Rode
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Mark Joseph Root (US)
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