Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan advised Precision BioSciences on the deal.
Precision BioSciences (Nasdaq: DTIL), a clinical stage gene editing company based in Durham, N.C., has entered into an exclusive worldwide research and development collaboration and license agreement with Novartis Pharma AG. The collaboration could lead to a potentially curative treatment option for certain diseases such as sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. Precision BioSciences will use its proprietary gene editing platform, ARCUS, to develop an ARCUS nuclease for the therapy, and Novartis will be responsible for subsequent research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization activities.
Sickle cell disease affects 20 million people worldwide, approximately 80 percent of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that around 1,000 children in Africa are born with the genetic disorder every day, and more than half will die before they reach the age of five.
Precision BioSciences will receive an upfront payment of $75 million and is eligible to receive up to an aggregate amount of approximately $1.4 billion in additional payments for future milestones. Precision is also eligible to receive certain research funding and, should Novartis successfully commercialize a therapy from the collaboration, tiered royalties ranging from the mid-single digits to low-double digits on product sales.
Smith Anderson attorneys John Therien (Picture), Jason Brege, Heyward Armstrong, Lee Strasburger and Will Robinson represented Precision in the deal.
Involved fees earner: Heyward Armstrong – Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan; Jason Brege – Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan; William Robinson – Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan; Lee Strasburger – Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan; John Therien – Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan;
Clients: Precision BioSciences, Inc.;