Replace was a stealth Bakar Labs tenant. From Medical Marketing & Media.
Just a few weeks after emerging from stealth mode with more than $200 million in financing, Tome Biosciences has made its first major transaction.
The programmable genomic integration (PGI) company based in Watertown, Massachusetts announced Tuesday morning that it acquired Replace Therapeutics, a private biotech developing a novel PGI method capable of inserting and deleting small DNA sequences.
Replace’s technology combines the site specificity of CRISPR/Cas9 technology with writing enzyme DNA ligase to manipulate small DNA sequences, a company press release stated, which complements Tome’s large DNA PGI technology.
Per terms of the deal, Tome will acquire Replace for $65 million upfront and make other near-term milestone payments for a total deal value of up to $185 million through a mix of stock and cash. As a result, Replace will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tome.
“The addition of L-PGI to our PGI toolset provides us with the flexibility to choose the right editing tool for the right indication, expanding the types of diseases that we have the potential to cure,” Tome CEO Rahul Kakkar, MD said in a statement.
The Replace acquisition comes weeks after Tome raised $213 million in funding from notable investors like Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health, Arch Venture Partners, Fujifilm Corporation and others.
Kakkar told MM+M that the company is going live with its ambitious ideas to not only treat a number of diseases but offer cures to patients.
“There are winds gathering at our back, like the approvals of the first CRISPR-based therapies. There is also the rise of the biotech index showing the reemergence of interest in biotech in general, he said. “Both of those tailwinds are going to help us as we now come out of stealth mode, especially in 2024 as we bring more of our data into the public sphere, start talking about our pipeline and our specific programs.”
Replace CEO Shakked Halperin, PhD stated Tome is well-suited to develop its PGI technology for a series of different applications.
“We designed our ligase-mediated technology to make any DNA edit needed with a higher precision and efficiency than that seen with other DNA editing technologies,” he added.
Of note, Halperin previously headed Rewrite Therapeutics until its acquisition by Intellia Therapeutics in February 2022.