Vertex, Arbor Biotechnologies enter collaboration for novel proteins
Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Arbor Biotechnologies announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic research collaboration focused on the discovery of novel proteins including DNA endonucleases to advance the development of new gene-editing therapies for cystic fibrosis and four other diseases to be selected later. Arbor has developed a protein biodiscovery platform that includes a comprehensive set of technologies and techniques, integrating machine learning, genome sequencing, gene synthesis, and high-throughput screening that will augment Vertex's efforts to develop gene-editing approaches for the treatment of serious diseases. Under the terms of the collaboration, scientists from Vertex and Arbor will work closely together to discover novel proteins and tools that Vertex may use in the development of new medicines. The focus of the collaboration is to discover novel programmable DNA endonucleases or nickases with high fidelity and catalytic activity as well as novel transduction approaches. Discovery activities will be conducted primarily by Arbor and funded by Vertex. Vertex will provide Arbor with an up-front cash commitment, fund research activities, and will pay research, development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, as well as royalties on future net sales. Vertex will also make an investment in Arbor in the form of a convertible note and obtain an observer seat on the Arbor Board of Directors.