Locus and Janssen Ink Potential $818 Million Deal to Develop CRISPR-Based Antibacterials

Biospace.com | January 03, 2019

Locus Biosciences, based in Research Triangle Park, NC, inked a collaboration and license deal with Janssen Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson company. The companies will work to develop precision antibacterial therapies based on CRISPR-Cas3-enhanced bacteriophage. Under the terms of the deal, Janssen is paying Locus $20 million up front. Locus will be eligible for up to a total of $798 million in development and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on any product sales. Locus focuses on using Type 1 CRISPR-Cas3 to degrade the DNA of target bacteria, which quickly kills them. One advantage of this approach over antibiotics is it targets the specific bacteria without wiping out the desirable “good” bacteria in the body.
“Our collaboration with Janssen on the development of products to treat deadly infections and potentially other microbiome dysbiosis associated conditions reflects the importance of the crPhage platform and its potential to revolutionize the treatment of disease and extend human life,” stated Paul Garofolo, Locus’s chief executive officer. “Our platform is uniquely positioned to selectively eradicate pathogenic bacteria of choice while preserving an otherwise healthy microbiome in patients, and this collaboration with Janssen will enable us to further develop products on the platform to help patients in need around the world.”

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ARA Biopharmaceutics Review reveals how oral drug products actually perform in vivo. A drug's regional absorption characteristics are obtained from existing pharmacokinetic data. In addition, ARA Biopharmaceutics review identifies hidden risks associated with a drug substance and the most appropriate formulation strategy for optimized drug absorption.

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