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CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia Therapeutics Announce Commercial License Agreement With MaxCyte
CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia obtain commercial rights to MaxCyte’s cell engineering platform to develop CRISPR/Cas9-based therapies

BASEL, Switzerland, CAMBRIDGE, Mass., and GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP), a biopharmaceutical company focused on creating transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases, and Casebia Therapeutics, a joint-venture established by CRISPR Therapeutics and Bayer AG for developing CRISPR-based therapeutics in select disease areas, today announced they have signed a joint commercial license agreement with MaxCyte, Inc., a US-based global company dedicated to accelerating the discovery, development, manufacturing and commercialization of next-generation, cell-based medicines.

The commercial license builds on an existing research and clinical licensing agreement for select disease areas. Under the terms of the license, CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia will obtain non-exclusive commercial-use rights to MaxCyte’s cell engineering platform to develop CRISPR/Cas9-based therapies for hemoglobin-related diseases and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). MaxCyte will supply its systems to CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia as part of the license agreement and will receive upfront, milestone, and sales-based payments.

“As we advance CRISPR Therapeutics’ lead programs in hemoglobinopathies to the clinic, it is important we prepare for the future by securing our access to the leading ex vivo delivery solution for both clinical and commercial use,” said Samarth Kulkarni, Chief Business Officer of CRISPR Therapeutics.

MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation™ Technology enables the transfection of a variety of cell types at very high efficiency while maintaining very high viability. CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia’s lead programs rely on ex vivo gene editing, where the CRISPR components are delivered to hematopoietic stem cells using the MaxCyte technology.

“With Casebia and CRISPR Therapeutics working closely together, we hope to make bold investments and accelerate our efforts to access and acquire all the leading platform technologies necessary to develop and commercialize CRISPR-based therapeutics,” said Jim Burns, President and CEO of Casebia.

“The initiation of this commercial license agreement with CRISPR Therapeutics and Casebia, both leaders in gene editing, marks a very important milestone for MaxCyte and demonstrates the value of our platform and our intellectual property, as well as our ability to collaborate effectively with companies commercializing cell therapies,” said Doug Doerfler, President & CEO of MaxCyte, Inc.

About CRISPR Therapeutics

CRISPR Therapeutics is a leading gene-editing company focused on developing transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases using its proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing platform. CRISPR / Cas9 is a revolutionary technology that allows for precise, directed changes to genomic DNA. The company's multi-disciplinary team of world-class researchers and drug developers is working to translate this technology into breakthrough human therapeutics in a number of serious diseases. Additionally, CRISPR Therapeutics has established strategic collaborations with Bayer AG and Vertex Pharmaceuticals to develop CRISPR-based therapeutics in diseases with high unmet need. The foundational CRISPR/Cas9 patent estate for human therapeutic use was licensed from the company's scientific founder Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D. CRISPR Therapeutics is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland with its R&D operations based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.crisprtx.com.

About Casebia Therapeutics
Casebia Therapeutics is a joint venture between CRISPR Therapeutics and Bayer AG, focused on discovering, developing and commercializing new CRISPR/Cas9-based breakthrough therapeutics to treat blood disorders, blindness, and heart disease. Formed in the first quarter of 2016, the company began operations in the U.S. in August of 2016. Casebia has access to gene-editing technology from CRISPR Therapeutics in specific disease areas, as well as access to protein engineering expertise and relevant disease know-how through Bayer. Casebia is a free-standing entity, equally owned by CRISPR Therapeutics and Bayer, with its own scientific leadership and management team. The company’s Board of Directors has equal composition from CRISPR Therapeutics and Bayer. Casebia is headquartered in Cambridge, MA with research operations in Cambridge, MA, and San Francisco, CA.

About MaxCyte
MaxCyte is a US-based global company dedicated to accelerating the discovery, development, manufacturing and commercialization of next-generation, cell-based medicines. The Company provides its patented, high-performance cell engineering platform to biopharmaceutical partners engaged in drug discovery and development, biomanufacturing, and cell therapy, including gene editing and immuno-oncology. With its robust delivery platform, MaxCyte’s team of scientific experts helps its partners to unlock their product potential and solve development and commercialization challenges.

MaxCyte is currently partnering with commercial and academic cell therapy developers in more than 40 licensed programs covering a diverse range of fields, including immuno-oncology, gene editing, and regenerative medicine. MaxCyte’s Flow Electroporation™ Technology offers seamless scalability, and can be used from early discovery in a lab to the clinical environment, through to regulatory drug approval for commercial production.

MaxCyte is also developing CARMA, its proprietary, breakthrough platform in immuno-oncology, to rapidly manufacture CAR therapies for a broad range of cancer indications, including solid tumors where existing CAR-T approaches face significant challenges.

For more information, visit http://www.maxcyte.com/

CRISPR Forward-Looking Statement
Certain statements set forth in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, but not limited to, statements concerning: the therapeutic value, development, and commercial potential of CRISPR/Cas-9 gene editing technologies and therapies and the intellectual property protection of our technology and therapies. You are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Although the company believes that such statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business and operations, the forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees and they are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk. Actual performance and results may differ materially from those projected or suggested in the forward-looking statements due to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: uncertainties inherent in the initiation and completion of preclinical and clinical studies for the Company’s product candidates; uncertainties regarding the intellectual property protection for our technology and intellectual property belonging to third parties; availability and timing of results from preclinical and clinical studies; whether results from a preclinical trial will be predictive of future results of the future trials; expectations for regulatory approvals to conduct trials or to market products; and those risks and uncertainties described in Item 1A under the heading “Risk Factors” in the company’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K, and in any other subsequent filings made by the company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made.

CRISPR CONTACTS:
Media:
Jennifer Paganelli
WCG for CRISPR
347-658-8290
jpaganelli@wcgworld.com

Investors:
Chris Brinzey
Westwicke Partners for CRISPR
339-970-2843
chris.brinzey@westwicke.com

CASEBIA CONTACTS:
Ann Stanesa
Ten Bridge Communications
ann@tenbridgecommunications.com
617-230-0347

MAXCYTE CONTACTS:
Doug Doerfler, Chief Executive Officer
Ron Holtz, Chief Financial Officer
301-944-1620
dougd@maxcyte.com

US Media Contact:
Jamie Lacey-Moreira
PressComm PR, LLC
410 299 3310
jamielacey@presscommpr.com

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CRISPR Therapeutics AG