Pfizer / Beam agreement highlights in vivo potential

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IIt’s just a deal, but genomics companies exposed to in vivo gene editing could receive a much needed boost after leading pharmaceutical company Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) announced a deal on Monday. related with Beam Therapeutics (NASDAQ: BEAM).

Among the exchange-traded funds that leverage the deal is the ARK Genomic Revolution Multi-Sector Fund (CBOE: ARKG). On Monday, Beam and Pfizer said they had signed a four-year agreement, which can be extended by one year, for basic in vivo editing programs targeting rare genetic diseases of the liver, muscles and central nervous system.

“The core publishing programs that will be evaluated as part of the collaboration will take advantage of Beam’s proprietary software. in vivo delivery technologies, which use messenger RNA (mRNA) and lipid nanoparticles (LNP) to deliver basic editors to target organs ”, according to a press release by businesses. “By combining these technologies with Pfizer’s proven track record in the development and manufacture of drugs and vaccines, this collaboration aims to advance potentially transformative therapies for patients living with rare diseases. “

Basic editing is a complex concept, but in layman’s terms it is about moving one base to another without generating unwanted surplus byproducts.

Although in vivo therapies cannot verify modified cells prior to transduction, the technology is nonetheless convincing in the health field because it is easier to produce and more cost effective than ex vivo. Beam is one of the leaders in vivo.

“Beam’s proprietary core editing technologies are designed to enable a new class of precision genetic drugs that target a single base in the genome without causing double-stranded breaks in DNA,” the statement said.

The deal with Pfizer could be worth as much as $ 1.35 billion – a healthy percentage of Beam’s market cap of $ 4.7 billion. This is relevant for ARKG investors as Beam is the eighth largest holding in the ETF at a weight of 3.4%. As of early Monday, only one ETF had a larger allocation to Beam than the actively managed ARKG.

“Beam will receive an upfront payment of $ 300 million and, assuming Pfizer exercises its opt-in license rights for all three targets, is eligible for development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments for total potential consideration of the amount. deal of up to $ 1.35 billion. Beam is also eligible to receive worldwide net sales royalties for each licensed program, ”said Pfizer and Beam.

the ETF ARK Innovation (NYSEArca: ARKK) also owns Beam shares.

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