Daily Newsletter

22 March 2024

Daily Newsletter

22 March 2024

LENZ Therapeutics concludes merger with Graphite Bio

The merged business, with $225m in funds, will focus on advancing presbyopia treatment.

Vishnu Priyan March 22 2024

LENZ Therapeutics has concluded its merger with Graphite Bio, forming a late-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing treatments for presbyopia.

The merger, an all-stock transaction agreed by the companies in November 2023, positions the combined entity under the name LENZ Therapeutics.

The combined company will focus on advancing the lead assets of LENZ Therapeutics for presbyopia treatment.

With $225m in cash or cash equivalents, the company is poised to build infrastructure and commercialise its lead product candidates, pending Phase III trial outcomes and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

The financial foundation of the merged company includes $53.5m from a concurrent private investment in public equity financing, contributed by a syndicate of healthcare investors.

LENZ's existing investors led the syndicate, which also saw participation from new investors.

Eef Schimmelpennink will lead the company as president and CEO, steering it towards its goal of treating a broad demographic of patients with presbyopia.

The product candidates of LENZ are LNZ100 and LNZ101, which are preservative-free, single-use, once-a-day eye drops.

The drops containing aceclidine and a combination of aceclidine plus brimonidine have shown promising results in terms of quick onset and sustained near-vision improvement.

The treatments have also demonstrated effectiveness across a wide age and refractive range of presbyopes without compromising distance vision.

Based on the data from the Phase III CLARITY trials, the company plans to file a new drug application with the FDA by mid-2024.

LENZ's strategy is to commercialise the most effective product for the widest range of presbyopes tested, intending to launch either LNZ100 or LNZ101 in the US through its own commercial organisation.

Schimmelpennink stated: “Following the close of this transaction, we believe we are well-positioned to bring the opportunity of a once-daily pharmacological eye drop intended to improve near vision throughout the full workday closer to the 128 million people in the United States who are impacted by presbyopia.”

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