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Boatload of Cash for Genome Editing Therapies

Editas Medicine has raised $120 million to develop therapeutics with gene editing technology like CRISPR/Cas9, the Boston Globe reports.

It's the biggest private investment into genome editing technologies yet, with money coming from a group of investors including Google Ventures, Fidelity Investments, and a fund backed by Bill Gates. This funding round follows $43 million in initial funding from several Boston-area investors.

Editas CEO Katrine Bosley said the company will use the money to develop a multi-purpose gene editing approach that could be used in ophthalmology and oncology, among other areas.

"There's certainly a lot of work to do to translate this idea into medicines," Bosley tells the Globe. "Having a substantial financial foundation gives us an opportunity to do more things in parallel. We're trying to figure out how to address each disease target in a systematic manner."

Bosley adds that Editas has several research programs already up and running, including one to address a rare, blindness-inducing eye disease.

The therapeutics company was formed in 2013 to translate genome editing technologies into clinical treatments. CRISPR luminaries Feng Zhang, Jennifer Doudna, George Church, Keith Joung, and David Liu are co-founders of the company. Doudna, however, has more recently co-founded two other CRISPR-related startups, Caribou Biosciences and Intellia Therapeutics.