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BOSTON & CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts – Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and CRISPR Therapeutics have announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic research collaboration focused on the use of CRISPR’s gene editing technology, known as CRISPR-Cas9, to discover and develop potential new treatments aimed at the underlying genetic causes of human disease. The collaboration will evaluate the use of CRISPR-Cas9 across multiple diseases where targets have been validated through human genetics. Vertex and CRISPR will focus their initial gene editing research on discovering treatments to address the mutations and genes known to cause and contribute to cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. Vertex and CRISPR will also evaluate a specified number of other genetic targets as part of the collaboration. Vertex will have exclusive rights to license up to six new CRISPR-Cas9-based treatments that emerge from the collaboration. As part of the collaboration, Vertex made an up-front commitment of $105 million to CRISPR, including $75 million in cash and a $30 million equity investment. CRISPR is also eligible to receive future development, regulatory and sales milestones and royalty payments on future sales.