Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics joint venture, named Casebia Therapeutics, establishes operations in Cambridge, MA

BayerCasebia Therapeutics, the joint venture founded by Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics, started its operations in Cambridge, MA, U.S. In December, 2015 Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics agreed to create a joint venture (JV) to discover, develop and commercialize new breakthrough therapeutics to cure blood disorders, blindness, and congenital heart disease. The two parties formally closed the transaction in the first quarter of 2016.

The JV has recently been incorporated as Casebia Therapeutics, a UK entity with its primary base of research operations in Cambridge, MA, U.S. The name Casebia derives from the CRISPR-associated, or Cas, family of nuclease enzymes - key components of the breakthrough gene editing technology on which Casebia will base its therapeutic programs. 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 has recently entered into a sublease agreement for approximately 33,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space that will host up to 80 employees and form its primary base of operations. The space is located in Cambridge, MA at 610 Main Street North, a brand new, nine-story, MIT-owned building currently under construction in Kendall Square adjacent to the MIT campus. Casebia will be co-located with CRISPR Therapeutics and will enter the new location in early 2017. Meanwhile, research efforts are performed via the various R&D sites of Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics in the US and Germany. An additional location on Bayer's campus in San Francisco, Mission Bay will house research operations in hematology indications.

"We are excited to engage the broader life science community in Boston now through Casebia. As we establish and grow Casebia's therapeutic programs, this new location will provide us with state-of-the-art infrastructure, access to the vibrant biotech environment of the Kendall Square area, and facilitate close collaboration with CRISPR Therapeutics," said Dr. Axel Bouchon, who is serving as interim CEO of Casebia.

Hiring is underway to fully staff Casebia's research and development organization, which has begun research efforts on its initial therapeutic programs.

About CRISPR Therapeutics
CRISPR Therapeutics is a leading gene-editing company focused on the development of 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., who co-invented the application of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene editing. CRISPR Therapeutics is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland with its R&D operations based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About The Bayer Lifescience Center (BLSC)
The BLSC is a new R&D unit of Bayer that focuses entirely on the development of ultimate breakthroughs across species by creating a novel platform that allows technology combination and know-how amplification. Initially, the BLSC will tackle fundamental challenges through a network of external collaborative partnerships with the focus on promising new technologies to cure diseases and to take responsibility for the growing world population.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015.

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