John Leonard, Intellia CEO

Search­ing for CRISPR 2.0, In­tel­lia spends $45M cash on an un­known Berke­ley spin­out

Even as two of the first gen­er­a­tion of CRISPR com­pa­nies have shown pow­er­ful re­sults in the clin­ic, they’ve faced a grow­ing threat: new tech­nolo­gies such as base and prime edit­ing that can con­duct more ver­sa­tile and po­ten­tial­ly safer edit­ing.

In­tel­lia, which last year be­came the first com­pa­ny to show CRISPR can work di­rect­ly in pa­tients, is hop­ing that a lit­tle-known start­up can help it stay on the cut­ting edge. On Thurs­day it an­nounced a buy­out of a tiny and ef­fec­tive­ly un­known Berke­ley spin­out called Rewrite Ther­a­peu­tics for $45 mil­lion cash and $155 mil­lion in mile­stones that In­tel­lia claims can do a host of ge­net­ic ed­its cur­rent­ly lim­it­ed to prime edit­ing and a cou­ple oth­er tech­nolo­gies.

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