Pfizer Inc. (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report said Monday it has formed a research collaboration with Beam Therapeutics (BEAM) that could be worth as much as $1.35 billion for the Boston-based gene editing specialists.
Pfizer said Beam will receive an upfront payment of $300 million, with royalties that could add another $1.05 billion, as part of an agreement that would combine Beam's base editing and messenger-RNA technologies with Pfizer's scale in global drug development.
Beam, which also uses lipid nanoparticles to develop genetic medicines to combat rare diseases, will conduct all research activities through development candidate selection for three undisclosed targets, while Pfizer will have the right to opt in for exclusive worldwide licenses for each.
“We are thrilled to partner with Pfizer, a global leader in the design, development, and commercialization of novel medicines,” said Beam CEO John Evans. “Our leading platform for precision genetic medicine has greatly evolved over the last few years, and we are committed to ensuring the broadest reach of these potentially life-changing technologies."
"This collaboration will provide a unique opportunity to create potentially transformative base editing programs for indications with critical unmet needs, leveraging our proprietary base editing technology and expanding delivery capabilities," he added. "We look forward to working together with Pfizer to advance these technologies and potentially expand our impact for people suffering from serious diseases.”
Beam Therapeutics shares, which surged as much as 12% in pre-market trading following news of the collaboration, were marked 4% lower in late-morning trading to change hands at $67.40 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month decline to around 31.4%.
Pfizer, meanwhile, slipped 0.23% from its Friday closing price to change hands at $55.58 each.