CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Beam Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAM), a biotechnology company developing precision genetic medicines through base editing, today announced it has completed the acquisition of Guide Therapeutics, Inc., a developer of nonviral drug delivery vehicles for genetic medicines, further expanding the potential reach of Beam’s genetic medicines into new target tissues and diseases.
“Since our founding, Beam’s strategy has been to establish the leading, fully integrated platform for precision genetic medicine,” said John Evans, chief executive officer of Beam. “We believe that the innovative scientists and technology at GuideTx will enable us to broaden the reach of gene editing even further. This investment represents a significant expansion of Beam’s ongoing investment in a full suite of innovative delivery technologies for genetic medicines, and potential lifelong cures, for a wide range of diseases.”
Building on the pioneering work of co-founders James Dahlman, Ph.D. and Cory Sago, Ph.D., GuideTx has significantly advanced lipid nanoparticle (LNP) discovery with proprietary in vivo LNP screening technology. This technology utilizes DNA barcodes, which are DNA sequences rationally designed to act as molecular tags for specific nanoparticles. Using this approach, hundreds of nanoparticles can be screened simultaneously in a single experiment, potentially generating in vivo drug delivery data at significantly greater rates compared to traditional experiments. Beam believes that sequencing of these data in diverse tissues of interest will enable identification of LNPs with novel biodistribution and high selectivity for target cells. Using this platform, GuideTx has identified a broad library of lipids and lipid formulations that could accelerate novel delivery of gene editing payloads to tissues beyond the liver.
“Beam’s distinguished team and strengths in the development of genetic medicines makes them an ideal partner to advance our technology” said Julie Sunderland, chairwoman of GuideTx. “We believe that integrating GuideTx’s proprietary LNPs and high throughput LNP discovery engine with Beam’s base editing, mRNA payloads and manufacturing capabilities will unlock the full potential of our platform to deliver the promise of genetic medicines to the greatest number of patients.” GuideTx was spun out of Georgia Tech in 2018 and backed by Biomatics Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, and GV.
Giuseppe Ciaramella, Ph.D. president and chief scientific officer of Beam added, “GuideTx’s capacity to execute rapid high throughput experiments can potentially identify the ideal delivery vehicle for reaching specific tissue types, which could lead to improved nonviral delivery technologies. This acquisition builds on our core strength with existing validated delivery strategies, such as LNP targeting of the liver, and expands our ability to explore new tissues and disease indications with our editing technologies. We look forward to working with this unique technology and dedicated team as we continue our efforts to bring a new class of precision genetic medicines to people suffering from serious diseases.”
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Beam paid upfront consideration of $120 million, excluding customary purchase price adjustments, in Beam common stock. In addition to the upfront payment, GuideTx stockholders will be eligible to receive up to an additional $320 million in technology and product success milestone payments, payable in Beam common stock. Additional financial details were not disclosed.
About Beam Therapeutics
Beam Therapeutics (Nasdaq: BEAM) is a biotechnology company developing precision genetic medicines through the use of base editing. Beam’s proprietary base editors create precise, predictable and efficient single base changes, at targeted genomic sequences, without making double-stranded breaks in the DNA. This enables a wide range of potential therapeutic editing strategies that Beam is using to advance a diversified portfolio of base editing programs. Beam is a values-driven organization committed to its people, cutting-edge science, and a vision of providing life-long cures to patients suffering from serious diseases. For more information, visit www.beamtx.com.