Allergan and Editas Medicine Strike R&D Alliance for Eye Diseases

March 14, 2017

March 14, 2017

Allergan plc and Editas Medicine Inc., a genome editing company, announced that Allergan’s subsidiary, Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Limited, and Editas Medicine have entered into a strategic research and development agreement. The agreement states that Allergan will have full access and licensing options for up to five of Editas's genome-editing ocular programs. The deal covers programs that target serious diseases based on Editas's CRISPR genome editing platform, including CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cpf1.

CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a programmable tool that targets specific areas of genetic code and edits DNA at specific locations in the human genome. This allows researchers to modify genes and potentially create medicines with sustainable treatment effects.

Also included in the agreement is Editas's lead program, which is currently preclinical, for the potential treatment of LCA10 (Leber congenital amaurosis)-a rare, inherited retinal degenerative disease that appears in childhood and leads to blindness.