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EditForce and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Enter into License Agreement


EditForce, Inc. (Headquarters: Fukuoka, President and CEO: Takashi Ono; hereinafter “EditForce”) has entered into a License Agreement (hereinafter “Agreement”) with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (Headquarters: Osaka, Representative Director: Hiroaki Ueno; hereinafter “MTPC”) to research, develop and commercialize potential gene therapy products for a specific target disease in the field of CNS by utilizing EditForce’s proprietary PPR protein platform technology.

Logo of EditForce, Inc.:

In this alliance, MTPC and EditForce aim to create potential novel pharmaceuticals for the specific CNS disease by utilizing the drug R&D know-how and global business experience of MTPC and the novel biotechnology of EditForce. MTPC will acquire the exclusive right to conduct the selection of drug candidate molecules, preclinical and clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization worldwide.

Under the terms of the Agreement, EditForce will receive an upfront payment and milestone payments amounting to over 20 billion yen depending on the development stage and commercialization progress, and royalties based on worldwide sales after the launch.

“I am so delighted to reach the agreement with MTPC, which has an interest in our proprietary PPR protein platform technology,” said Takashi Ono, President and CEO of EditForce. “We look forward to working closely with MTPC to develop and deliver breakthrough pharmaceutical products with our technology to patients suffering from diseases.”

EditForce will proceed with R&D of pharmaceuticals using its PPR protein platform technology.

About EditForce, Inc.
EditForce, Inc., a Kyushu University-originated venture company developing a unique DNA/RNA editing technology (PPR platform technology (*)), was established in May 2015 by KISCO Ltd. and Prof. Takahiro Nakamura of Kyushu University (former president of EditForce and currently its scientific advisor) and funded by companies and funds that have track records of investing in life sciences and biotechnology. EditForce aims for drug discovery that applies the PPR technology through joint research with universities and private companies.

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(*) Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) protein platform technology
PPR is a protein discovered in plants that regulates gene expression by binding to DNA and RNA in a sequence-specific manner. The PPR proteins are also found in humans and yeasts, and they have similar functions. Prof. Takahiro Nakamura and Dr. Yusuke Yagi, CTO of EditForce, have focused on the PPR proteins and elucidated the mechanism that determines sequence specificity, and established a technology for creating various PPR proteins, each of which binds to a specific target DNA or RNA sequence. Furthermore, it is possible to manipulate and modify the target genome and RNA both inside and outside the cell by fusion with effector proteins.

About Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC), the pharma arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Group (MCG), is one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in the world, founded in 1678, and focusing on ethical pharmaceuticals. MTPC is headquartered in Doshomachi, Osaka, the birthplace of Japan’s pharmaceutical industry. MCG has positioned health care as its strategic focus in its management policy, “Forging the future.” MTPC sets the MISSION of “Creating hope for all facing illness.” To that end, MTPC is prioritizing work on “precision medicine” to provide drugs with high treatment satisfaction by identifying patient populations with high potential for efficacy and safety, focusing on the disease areas of the central nervous system and immuno-inflammation. In addition, MTPC is working to develop “around the pill solutions” to address specific patient concerns based on therapeutic medicine, including prevention of diseases, pre-symptomatic disease care, prevention of aggravation and prognosis.

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Source: EditForce, Inc.