Second CRADA with the NIH to advance CRISPR therapies

Lighthouse | 11 June 2018

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  • MaxCyte has formed a CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) with the US National Institute of Health (NIH) to develop CRISPR-based therapies to treat sickle cell disease (SCD).
  • Under the research agreement, MaxCyte will work with the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The company will supply the mRNA molecules for the CRISPR therapies and concentrate on enhancing the capabilities of its proprietary flow electroporation technology to reliably and effectively deliver the mRNA to the haemopoietic stem cells; while the NHLBI will carry out the preclinical studies.
  • This collaboration will build on work conducted by MaxCyte, in which it has shown that it could correct the gene responsible for SCD using CRISPR technology delivered by its flow electroporation systems in 30-40% of haematopoietic stem cells (estimated that >20% correction is required for a clinical effect). The correction was maintained when these cells generated red blood cells with normal haemoglobin levels over 60% in in vitro Preclinical data was presented at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy Annual Meeting (ASGCT) in May 2018.
  • The US CDC estimates that there are 100,000 Americans with SCD, and there are approximately 300,000 infants born with SCD annually worldwide.
  • There is growing interest among pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments for SCD, as demonstrated by the acquisition of Selexys by Novartis for $665m in November 2016, following the publication of Phase II data.
  • MaxCyte is already working with the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in a CRADA (formed in June 2017) to develop a therapy for X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (CGD).

Trinity Delta view: The second CRADA deal with the NIH highlights MaxCyte’s leading position in the field of gene correction using CRISPR, and the importance of its flow electroporation technology for CRISPR therapies.

In the short term, it will have a limited impact on MaxCyte’s financial performance. However, this agreement will help to cement MaxCyte’s expertise in flow electroporation as being a key enabling technology for CRISPR therapies; this should increase mid-long term revenue opportunities as more companies buy licenses to use its instruments, and from the potential partnering of the SCD programme.

Our valuation of MaxCyte is £166m or 327p/share.


11 June 2018

Market Cap£122m
Primary exchangeAIM London
Company CodeMXCT / MXCR
Corporate clientYes

Company description

MaxCyte uses its patented flow electroporation platform to transfect a wide array of cells. Revenues arise from sale and lease of equipment, disposables and licence fees; with an impressive client list. Additionally, a novel mRNA mediated CAR technology, known as CARMA, is being explored in various cancers, including solid tumours.


Mick Cooper PhD
+44 (0) 20 3637 5042

Lala Gregorek
+44 (0) 20 3637 5043


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