Myeloid Therapeutics has partnered with Prime Medicine to speed up the development of the RNA-based, retrotransposon mediated gene-insertion technology, RetroT.

The companies have signed an exclusive option and research collaboration agreement to focus on the development of Myeloid’s proprietary RetroT.

RetroT is used in gene editing, delivery and is expected to complement Prime Editing. The goal is to expand the programmability of the gene-editing technology.

Myeloid’s RetroT offers genetic sequences and integration enzymes in a single mRNA strand along with the potential to deliver gene-sized pieces of DNA into the genome.

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Prime will make an upfront payment of $45m to Myeloid.

The agreement will also allow Myeloid to receive significant milestone and option exercise payments and sales-based royalties.

Myeloid CEO Daniel Getts said: “At Myeloid, we are pleased to have built one of the deepest RNA-based technology platforms focused on multiple therapeutic modalities, including our newest technology announced today for gene editing, RetroT.

“This partnership highlights the broad applicability of our R&D engine to indications beyond cancer. We are excited to be working with Prime, a preeminent gene editing company, to continue pushing the boundaries of what mRNA can do, including gene delivery.”

The research deal will also aim to increase RetroT’s efficiency, programmability and usage in multiple cell types in order to direct it to pre-specified target sites within the genome.

Myeloid and Prime will work together to translate Myeloid’s RetroT technology into human clinical products.

Prime will own the exclusive option to control the intellectual property and expand upon its existing platform, following the completion of those activities.

Prime Medicine CEO Keith Gottesdiener said: “We are committed to expanding our gene editing toolbox with new, uniquely positioned approaches that may complement Prime Editing.

“We look forward to partnering with the extremely talented team at Myeloid – including many experts in retrotransposon biology – to advance this novel technology, with the goal of expanding the applicability of Prime Editing to more broadly address human diseases. “