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Bayer, the German pharmaceutical and agriculture firm, will pay California-based Mammoth Biosciences, a CRISPR-focused startup cofounded by Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna, $40 million to work on gene-editing technologies in four different diseases, the firms said Monday.

The companies said Bayer could eventually pay Mammoth milestones in excess of $1 billion if the projects pan out. Mammoth could receive royalties of up to a low double-digit percentage of sales on marketed products.


Marianne De Backer, an executive vice president for Bayer and the company’s chief business officer, said that Bayer viewed gene editing as “the last pillar” of capacity it has been building in cell and gene therapies, and that it had been “scouring the universe” for a company to partner with.

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