Less than a month after Tome Biosciences emerged with $213 million in funding, the gene editing company will acquire Replace Therapeutics for $65 million in upfront and near-term milestones, with a total deal value of up to $185 million through a mix of cash and stocks.
Under the terms of the deal, Replace Therapeutics will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Tome Biosciences. Tome raised $213 million in series A and B funding from investors to advance its programmable genomic integration (PGI) platform in the first half of December.
Tome’s integrase-mediated PGI (I-PGI) uses proprietary integrases and is based on the patented PASTE genome editing tool developed by Tome’s co-founders, Omar Abudayyeh, PhD, and Jonathan Gootenberg, PhD, while they were at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as investigators.
PASTE combines elements of CRISPR and prime editing with a pair of enzymes able to integrate large segments of DNA without incurring double-stranded DNA breaks.
Replace Therapeutics is developing a PGI method capable of inserting and deleting small DNA sequences; this ligase-mediated PGI (L-PGI) technology complements Tome’s large DNA I-PGI. In in vitro studies, Replace’s L-PGI technology “has demonstrated high efficiency and specificity in both dividing and non-dividing cells without the need for double-strand DNA breaks,” Tome said in a statement.
“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,” Rahul Kakkar, CEO of Tome, added.