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CRISPR Therapeutics Prices $280M Registered Direct Offering

NEW YORK – CRISPR Therapeutics on Tuesday said it hopes to raise approximately $280 million by selling its common shares to a group of institutional investors in a registered direct offering.

The Zug, Switzerland-headquartered firm is planning to sell 3,916,082 common shares at $71.50 per share, which represents more than a 10 percent premium to CRISPR Therapeutics' 30-day volume-weighted average stock price on the Nasdaq. The financing, which is slated to close around Feb. 27, is being led by EcoR1 Capital and SR One and will include participation from existing investors and an unnamed leading healthcare specialist investor.

The company said the net proceeds from this offering plus its existing cash, cash equivalents, and investments will extend its pro forma cash position to more than $2.1 billion. CRISPR Therapeutics plans to use these funds to advance current and new therapeutic candidates in its pipeline, invest in its drug development platform, and bolster its manufacturing infrastructure, as well as for working capital and general corporate purposes.

"We are well positioned to execute on our ongoing clinical trials in oncology, cardiovascular, and diabetes, and further accelerate our autoimmune and in vivo gene writing programs, setting up a catalyst-rich 12 to 18 months for the company," CRISPR Therapeutics CEO and Chairman Samarth Kulkarni said in a statement. "This financing bolsters our already strong balance sheet, provides the opportunity for additional value creation, and gives us the flexibility to reach sustainability without requiring additional capital."

Separately on Tuesday, Casgevy (exagamglogene autotemcel), the treatment CRISPR Therapeutics developed with partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals, received conditional marketing authorization in the European Union as a treatment for sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia. Vertex is in charge of globally developing, commercializing, and manufacturing the gene therapy under a 60/40 profit sharing agreement with CRISPR Therapeutics.