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Moderna, flush with cash thanks to its blockbuster Covid-19 vaccine, made waves back in August when CEO Stéphane Bancel declared the company’s next frontier to be genome editing, the nascent science of rewriting DNA to treat disease. Three months later, Moderna has picked a partner for its foray into CRISPR, and it’s not one of the field’s multibillion-dollar players.

Metagenomi, a three-year-old startup out of the University of California, Berkeley, signed a deal to help Moderna discover and develop genome-editing therapies, the companies said Tuesday. The agreement includes an up-front cash payment to Metagenomi, bonuses for meeting development milestones, and royalties on any products that arise from the collaboration. Moderna will also make an equity investment in the company. Neither side disclosed financial details.

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