Intellia Therapeutics and Novartis Expand Cell Therapy Collaboration to Pursue CRISPR/Cas9-based Genome Editing in Additional Stem Cell Population

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTLA), a leading genome editing company focused on developing curative therapeutics using CRISPR/Cas9 technology both and , announced an expansion of its existing cell therapy collaboration with Novartis, to include the development of innovative cell therapies using certain ocular stem cells. As part of the updated collaboration terms, Novartis will have the right to develop CRISPR/Cas9-based products for one or more targets using these stem cells. Intellia will receive a one-time $10 million cash payment and, consistent with the original collaboration agreement, Intellia also is eligible to receive downstream success-based milestones and royalties.

With the collaboration expansion announced today, Intellia will gain expanded rights to Novartis’ lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology for all genome editing applications in both and settings. This licensed LNP technology is the foundation of Intellia’s proprietary modular delivery system of CRISPR/Cas9 for its product pipeline. Intellia retains rights to all other and applications of CRISPR/Cas9, including for eye disorders, subject to certain target selection options by Novartis set forth in the original agreement.

“Genome editing enhancements made by CRISPR/Cas9 will enable the next generation of cell therapies. With our collaborator, Novartis, we are broadening the application of our CRISPR/Cas9 technology from hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs, to ocular stem cells. We are pleased to expand our relationship with Novartis, and to continue to work together to develop cell therapies,” said Intellia President and Chief Executive Officer John Leonard, M.D. “Broader rights to Novartis’ LNP technology will assist our efforts to apply this technology in settings for the development of proprietary cell therapies, just as we have done to develop our proprietary modular delivery system for products in the liver and other organs.”

Under the terms of the original agreement, Novartis received exclusive rights to develop all collaboration programs focused on engineered chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CARTs), while both companies committed to advancing their respective hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) programs. The work of these preclinical programs, including for sickle cell disease, is ongoing. The discovery and development collaboration, including the updates announced today, is set to expire in December 2019.

Independent from its collaboration with Novartis, Intellia also is advancing its wholly owned pipeline of immuno-oncology and autoimmune cell therapies. Intellia’s proprietary programs include its acute myeloid leukemia (AML) program utilizing transgenic T cell receptors (TCRs) against Wilms’ Tumor 1 (WT1), a target identified in collaboration with Ospedale San Raffaele (OSR).

Intellia Therapeutics is a leading genome editing company focused on developing proprietary, curative therapeutics using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Intellia believes the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has the potential to transform medicine by permanently editing disease-associated genes in the human body with a single treatment course, and through improved cell therapies that can treat cancer and immunological diseases, or can replace patients’ diseased cells. The combination of deep scientific, technical and clinical development experience, along with its leading intellectual property portfolio, puts Intellia in a unique position to unlock broad therapeutic applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology and create a new class of therapeutic products. Learn more about Intellia Therapeutics and CRISPR/Cas9 at and follow us on Twitter @intelliatweets.

Lynnea OlivarezAssociate DirectorExternal Affairs & Communications+1 956-330-1917              lynnea.olivarez@intelliatx.com 

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Globe Newswire: 12:30 GMT Thursday 6th December 2018

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