Pfizer Inc. has inked three arrangements to expand the use of the messenger RNA technology (mRNA) that underpins its COVID-19 vaccine, including a $1.35 billion deal with gene-editing firm Beam Therapeutics.
After leading global efforts to produce a vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic, the pharmaceutical behemoth has been looking to accelerate the development of mRNA-based vaccines and medicines.
It announced on Monday that it would pay Beam $300 million upfront to do research on three novel therapeutic targets not currently being pursued by the gene-editing business.
The American pharmaceutical company will be in charge of the targets' development and regulatory efforts, with the prospect of obtaining exclusive, worldwide rights for each.
Beam, whose stock was up 8% in premarket trading, is a gene-editing company that develops cures for rare genetic illnesses. It went public in February 2020.
Pfizer will also partner with Codex DNA for an undisclosed sum to use the biotech's proprietary technology to develop mRNA-based vaccines, treatments, and other biopharma products more efficiently.
Its collaboration with private biotech Acuitas Medicines will focus on creating up to ten vaccines or therapeutics using the Vancouver-based company's lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology.
The deal's financial specifics were kept under wraps.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech are using Acuitas' technology in their COVID-19 vaccine.