Vertex axes diabetes cell therapy deal with CRISPR

Jan. 9, 2024

In its 2024 Outlook, CRISPR Therapeutics revealed that ViaCyte — a Vertex Pharmaceuticals subsidiary — has chosen to withdraw from a joint effort to develop gene-edited stem cell therapies for diabetes treatment.

As a result, CRISPR Therapeutics will assume complete ownership of the collaboration assets, including CTX211 (formerly VCTX211), a gene-edited stem cell product designed for insulin production in response to glucose levels.

Despite the change, effective in early February 2024, CRISPR Therapeutics says it is committed to advancing the phase 1 clinical trial for CTX211, seeking to create a beta-cell replacement product without relying on chronic immunosuppression.

Separate from the ViaCyte collaboration, Vertex will retain non-exclusive rights to specific CRISPR Therapeutics' CRISPR/Cas9 technology to accelerate development of potentially curative cell therapies for T1D. Vertex paid CRISPR Therapeutics $170 million in upfront and milestone payments in 2023 under this licensing agreement.