Bayer, Mammoth collaborate on CRISPR therapy for liver disease

Jan. 11, 2022

Bayer AG and Mammoth Biosciences announced a deal to use novel CRISPR gene editing systems to develop new therapies for liver diseases.

The deal allows Bayer, well known for making Aspirin, to access California-based Mammoth’s proprietary CRISPR technology. Mammoth will receive an upfront payment of $40 million, with a possibility for future payments of more than $1 billion, depending on successful research and commercial milestones.

“This joint effort has the potential to benefit patients by developing CRISPR-based approaches for the clinic with the appropriate urgency, while ensuring scientific excellence and safety,” said Dr. Peter Nell, chief business officer and head of therapeutic strategy at Mammoth.

The collaboration between the two aims to develop gene-editing therapies that can be used inside the body. These new therapies are revolutionary because they address the root cause of disease and have the potential to permanently reverse disease after one-time treatment.

CRISPR technology is a recent addition to the biotech world. Mammoth’s co-founder Jennifer Doudna, along with Emmanuelle Charpentier, was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for chemistry for pioneering the revolutionary gene-editing technology. The technology is revolutionizing gene-editing research and allows scientists to take advantage of cells' natural defense mechanisms. Genes are edited through a precise cutting before allowing natural DNA repair to take place.

Bayer is making efforts to increase its development of cell and gene therapies. The company acquired BlueRock Therapeutics in 2019 in a deal valued at $600 million, expanding its research and development of cell and gene therapies. In 2020, Bayer acquired Asklepios BioPharmaceutical for an estimated $4 billion in a similar bid to build its drug-making business.

The new partnership will allow Mammoth to build on the success of its novel CRISPR systems by taking advantage of Bayer’s expertise in drug development.