Bio Palette has signed a cross-license agreement granting Beam Therapeutics a licence for its intellectual property (IP) to develop new therapeutics.

In return, Bio Palette will have access to an exclusive licence for Beam’s IP in order to produce microbiome-related therapeutics in Asia.

Bio Palette is engaged in the development of genome editing technologies across a variety of fields, including the microbiome and agriculture. The Japanese company licensed its base editing IP from Kobe University.

Beam Therapeutics develops precision genetic medicines using base editing. Its foundational IP is licensed from Harvard University, the Broad Institute, MIT and Editas Medicine.

Beam Therapeutics CEO John Evans said: “We are very pleased to enter into this strategic cross-licensing agreement with Bio Palette, with both parties benefiting in our respective areas of base editing expertise.

“This agreement further strengthens our leadership position in developing base editing for human therapeutics, and will enable Beam to take advantage of Bio Palette’s unique and valuable expertise in Japan.”

The companies also plan to leverage Bio Palette’s presence in Japan to support their position. Bio Palette has also agreed to help Beam forge alliances in Japan, and will advise Beam’s business development strategy in the country.

Bio Palette director Akihiko Kondo said: “Base editing is an important potential therapeutic approach in the microbiome. As we are both pioneers in base editing, Beam Therapeutics is a natural partner for Bio Palette as we continue to enhance our focus on the development of microbiome-based therapeutics, and to be a global leader in this field.”

Under the deal, Beam Therapeutics will make an upfront payment to Bio Palette, which will take an equity position in the US-based company.