Harvard University and MIT create startup Beam Therapeutics, proposing alternative technology to CRISPR

Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have jointly announced today the creation of Beam Therapeutics, a start-up armed with a $87m capital provided by a venture capital consortium including–among others–F-Prime Capital Partners and ARCH Venture Partners. Beam Therapeutics will focus on its own gene editing technology, developed by David Liu and Feng Zhang, which is showing potential to contribute to develop new therapies. The new technology is expected to be a modern alternative to CRISPR technology. Its details were described in the February 2017 issue of Nature Biotechnology and in the June 2017 issue of Nature Communication. According to the press release, Harvard will license to Beam Therapeutics the patents related to the new technology developed by the two co-founders, working as lecturers, in exchange for a billion-sized reward. Beam aims to achieve the same success as another spin-off in the gene editing & CRISPR business–Editas Medicines, which has more than doubled the capitalization it had as it was listed in 2016.

(Source: Harvard Office Technology dept.)