Dipal Doshi, Entrada Therapeutics CEO

Ver­tex just found the next big ‘trans­for­ma­tive’ thing for the pipeline — at a biotech just down the street

Back in the sum­mer of 2019, when I was cov­er­ing Ver­tex’s ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Jeff Lei­den’s plans for the pipeline, I picked up on a dis­tinct fo­cus on my­oton­ic dy­s­tro­phy Type I, or DM1 — one of what Lei­den called “two dis­eases (with DMD) we’re in­ter­est­ed in and we con­tin­ue to look for those as­sets.”

To­day, Lei­den’s suc­ces­sor at the helm of Ver­tex, CEO Resh­ma Ke­wal­ra­mani, is plunk­ing down $250 mil­lion in cash to go the ex­tra mile on DM1. The li­on’s share of that is for the up­front, with a small re­serve for eq­ui­ty in a deal that lines Ver­tex up with a neigh­bor in Sea­port that has been rather qui­et­ly go­ing at both of Ver­tex’s ear­ly dis­ease tar­gets with pre­clin­i­cal as­sets.

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