Novartis to leverage DNA-editing tool for immunotherapy

Novartis announced Thursday it has inked a deal with two US biotech companies, Intellia Therapeutics and Caribou Biosciences, granting the Swiss drugmaker access to a unique gene-editing technology known as CRISPR/cas9. The research supporting the tool has been rumored to be in the running for Nobel Prize consideration. It allows researchers to modify and examine viral sequences. Novartis stated that it plans to harness these platforms to develop new medicines as well as chimeric antigen receptor T-cells or “CARTs,” which alter a patient's immune cells to target and attack cancer. Intellia is eligible to receive progress-based milestones and royalties under the terms of the non-exclusive agreement, while Caribou has received an “equity investment” from Novartis, which is also non-exclusive.


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