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Medical start-up signs deal worth up to $737 million

Editas Medicine, a Cambridge medical researcher, has signed a deal with a Seattle biopharmaceutical company worth as much as $737 million.

The companies said Wednesday that they would collaborate on cancer treatments that would use Editas’s “gene editing” technology, which modifies DNA to disable disease-causing genes, and anti-cancer therapies developed by Juno Therapeutics, Inc. Juno will pay Editas at least $47 million, with up to $690 million in future payments contingent upon the progress, regulatory approval, and sales of any therapies the companies create.

“We are impressed and inspired by the scope and sophistication of Juno’s scientific vision and the exceptional product development experience of the Juno team,” said Katrine Bosley, Editas Medicine’s chief executive, in a statement. “They are intensely focused on advancing T cell based therapies for cancer patients, and we share their ambition to significantly expand the types of cancers that can be treated with this approach.”


Juno will pay Editas $25 million up front and $22 million in research support funds over the next five years. The companies will collaborate on three programs, and Editas is eligible to receive up to $230 million depending on the progress of those programs.

Jack Newsham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.