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Editas Medicine to Provide Broad Institute With up to $125M in CRISPR Funding

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — CRISPR-based therapeutics developer Editas Medicine has agreed to provide up to $125 million in research funding to the Broad Institute in exchange for the exclusive right to be the first to negotiate for licenses to genome-editing inventions that arise from the sponsored research.

According to an Editas filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company agreed to two upfront payments of $5 million and $7.5 million. Additional payments will be due in the event Editas' market capitalization reaches specific thresholds ranging from a mid-nine-digit dollar amount to a low eleven-digit dollar amount, or if the firm is sold for a price in a similar range.

Editas' market cap is currently around $1.7 billion.

Funding tied to Editas' market cap is payable in cash or interest-bearing promissory notes, and are convertible into company stock under certain conditions. If there is a change in control of Editas, the funding is payable in cash only.

In the filing, Editas noted that it is only required to make additional payments if it or an affiliate is researching, developing, or commercializing products involving technology exclusively licensed from or controlled by Broad.

Editas was founded in 2013. Its scientific founders include Harvard professor George Church; MIT assistant professor Feng Zhang; University of California at Berkeley professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Jennifer Doudna; Harvard associate professor Keith Joung; and Harvard professor and HHMI investigator David Liu.