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CRISPR Therapeutics and KSQ Therapeutics Announce License Agreement to Advance Companies’ Respective Cell Therapy Programs in Oncology

– CRISPR Therapeutics to receive non-exclusive access to certain KSQ IP for its allogeneic CAR-T programs –

– KSQ Therapeutics to receive non-exclusive access to certain CRISPR IP for its autologous cell therapies, including its existing eTILTM cell franchise –

ZUG, Switzerland and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., October 15, 2019 – CRISPR Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CRSP), a biopharmaceutical company focused on creating transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases, and KSQ Therapeutics, a biotechnology company using CRISPR technology to enable the company’s powerful drug discovery engine to achieve higher probabilities of success in drug development, today announced a license agreement whereby CRISPR Therapeutics will gain access to KSQ intellectual property (IP) for editing certain novel gene targets in its allogeneic oncology cell therapy programs, and KSQ will gain access to CRISPR Therapeutics’ IP for editing novel gene targets identified by KSQ as part of its current and future eTILTM (engineered tumor infiltrating lymphocyte) cell programs. The financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

“We are thrilled to gain access to CRISPR Therapeutics’ foundational IP estate through this agreement,” said David Meeker, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at KSQ Therapeutics. “Our eTILTM programs involve editing gene targets in human TILs that were discovered at KSQ by applying our proprietary CRISPRomics® approach to immune cells in multiple in vivo models. This agreement clears an important path for us to be able to bring these programs through development and commercialization, leveraging CRISPR Therapeutics’ proprietary editing technology.”

The gene targets within the scope of the license agreement were identified using KSQ’s proprietary CRISPRomics® drug discovery engine, which allows genome-scale, in vivo validated, unbiased drug discovery. These specific targets were uncovered in screens to identify genetic edits that could enhance the functionality and quality of adoptive cell therapies in oncology.

“KSQ has built an industry-leading platform to screen for novel gene targets using its technology, and has identified a group of targets that could help unlock the full potential of adoptive cell therapy in oncology,” said Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at CRISPR Therapeutics. “As a result of this license agreement, CRISPR Therapeutics will have the opportunity to bring these novel targets into our leading allogeneic CAR-T development platform to further strengthen our future programs in this important therapeutic area.”

About KSQ Therapeutics

KSQ Therapeutics is using CRISPR technology to enable the company’s powerful drug discovery engine to achieve higher probabilities of success in drug development. The company is advancing a pipeline of tumor- and immune-focused drug candidates for the treatment of cancer, across multiple drug modalities including targeted therapies, adoptive cell therapies and immuno-therapies. KSQ’s proprietary CRISPRomics® drug discovery engine enables genome-scale, in vivo validated, unbiased drug discovery across broad therapeutic areas. KSQ was founded by thought leaders in the field of functional genomics and pioneers of CRISPR screening technologies, and the company is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.ksqtx.com.

About CRISPR Therapeutics

CRISPR Therapeutics is a leading gene editing company focused on developing transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases using its proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 platform. CRISPR/Cas9 is a revolutionary gene editing technology that allows for precise, directed changes to genomic DNA. CRISPR Therapeutics has established a portfolio of therapeutic programs across a broad range of disease areas including hemoglobinopathies, oncology, regenerative medicine and rare diseases. To accelerate and expand its efforts, CRISPR Therapeutics has established strategic collaborations with leading companies including Bayer AG, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and ViaCyte, Inc. CRISPR Therapeutics AG is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, with its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, CRISPR Therapeutics, Inc., and R&D operations based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and business offices in London, United Kingdom. For more information, please visit www.crisprtx.com.

CRISPR Therapeutics Forward-Looking Statement

This press release may contain a number of “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including statements regarding CRISPR Therapeutics’ expectations about any or all of the following:  (i) the intellectual property coverage and positions of CRISPR Therapeutics, its licensors and third parties and (ii) the therapeutic value, development, and commercial potential of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technologies and therapies.  Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.  You are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Although CRISPR Therapeutics believes that such statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business and operations, forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees and they are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk. Actual performance and results may differ materially from those projected or suggested in the forward-looking statements due to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, among others:  the outcomes for each CRISPR Therapeutics’ planned clinical trials and studies may not be favorable; that one or more of CRISPR Therapeutics’ internal or external product candidate programs will not proceed as planned for technical, scientific or commercial reasons; that future competitive or other market factors may adversely affect the commercial potential for CRISPR Therapeutics’ product candidates; uncertainties inherent in the initiation and completion of preclinical studies for CRISPR Therapeutics’ product candidates; availability and timing of results from preclinical studies; whether results from a preclinical trial will be predictive of future results of the future trials; uncertainties about regulatory approvals to conduct trials or to market products; uncertainties regarding the intellectual property protection for CRISPR Therapeutics’ technology and intellectual property belonging to third parties; and those risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” in CRISPR Therapeutics’ most recent annual report on Form 10-K, and in any other subsequent filings made by CRISPR Therapeutics with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. CRISPR Therapeutics disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, other than to the extent required by law.

KSQ Contact:
Michael Lampe
Tel: 484-575-5040
michael@scientpr.com

CRISPR Therapeutics Investor Contact:
Susan Kim
+1 617-307-7503
susan.kim@crisprtx.com

CRISPR Therapeutics Media Contact:
Jennifer Paganelli
WCG on behalf of CRISPR
+1 347-658-8290
jpaganelli@wcgworld.com