Scribe Therapeutics has signed a collaboration deal worth up to $1.57bn with Prevail Therapeutics to accelerate the development of in vivo therapies for neurological and neuromuscular diseases.

Prevail Therapeutics is a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly). It will gain exclusive rights to the CRISPR X-Editing (XE) technologies of Scribe Therapeutics, which is a US-based genetic medicines company.

The partnership will combine Scribe Therapeutics’ CRISPR by Design approach with Prevail Therapeutics’ expertise in genetic medicines development for neurological disorders for specified genetic targets.

Scribe Therapeutics CEO Benjamin Oakes said: “We are thrilled to work with the Prevail team to advance potential treatments for patients facing debilitating genetic diseases.

“With the compelling in vivo proof-of-principle data we have generated in multiple disease areas, Scribe has validated our X-Editing technologies for industry-leading editing activity, specificity and deliverability.

“Our goal now is to more broadly enable therapies to help people living with these conditions.”

Scribe Therapeutics’ CRISPR platform is said to apply holistic engineering to convert bacterial immune systems into therapeutically relevant genome editing technologies that target the patient’s specific requirements.

The genetic medicines company’s tools for in vivo genome editing modify genes within the body directly to deliver benefits in efficacy, safety, and delivery over current methods.

As per the terms of the deal, Prevail Therapeutics will pay $75m as upfront payment and equity investment in the form of a convertible note to Scribe Therapeutics. The latter will be entitled to receive in excess of $1.5bn in development and commercial milestone payments.

Additionally, the Lilly subsidiary will provide Scribe Therapeutics with research funding and pay tiered royalties on net future sales. The latter will also have the right to co-fund one collaboration programme and share the profits for it in the US.

Prevail Therapeutics, which develops gene therapies using precision medicine technology, was acquired by Lilly in January 2021 in a deal worth around $1bn.