CELL AND GENE THERAPY, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
Globenewswire | May 02, 2023
Editas Medicine, Inc. a clinical stage genome editing company, announced that the journal Nature Biotechnology published the comprehensive data from a study of the proprietary SLEEK gene editing technology.
Despite major progress in achieving gene disruption with CRISPR-Cas gene editing technologies, efficient knock-in of transgenes continues to be a significant challenge for the gene editing field. To solve this challenge, SLEEK was developed to enable high knock-in efficiency with both viral and non-viral transgene formats while also ensuring robust simultaneous expression of up to four transgene cargos.
The study demonstrated that utilizing SLEEK results in the knock-in of multiple clinically relevant transgenes through a proprietary process that specifically selects only those cells containing the knock-in cargo. This process was developed by leveraging Editas Medicine’s proprietary engineered AsCas12a nuclease, which can achieve very high editing efficiency while maintaining high specificity. More than 90 percent knock-in efficiencies were observed in various clinically relevant target cells, including T cells, B cells, iPSCs, and NK cells. Additionally, SLEEK can be used to fine-tune the expression levels of transgene cargos, an important feature of next-generation cell therapies. As a demonstration of SLEEK’s potential value in clinical applications, the study authors used SLEEK to generate iPSC-derived NK cells capable of high-levels of in vivo persistence and robust tumor clearance in a solid tumor animal model.
“We are thrilled Nature Biotechnology published our paper sharing the comprehensive data on our SLEEK gene editing technology as we believe SLEEK has immense potential for gene editing drug development. As shared in the publication, SLEEK technology enables nearly 100 percent knock-in of functional transgene cargos at specific locations in the genome which may result in highly efficient multi-transgene knock-in for the next generation of cell therapy medicines,” said John A. Zuris, Ph.D., Director of Editing Technologies, Editas Medicine, and senior author on the study.
Editas Medicine believes that SLEEK may enable better product purity as well as shorter manufacturing timelines for the next generation of cell therapy medicines. Earlier this year, the Company announced it licensed its interest in the SLEEK technology to Shoreline Biosciences for specific usage in iPSC-derived NK and iPSC-derived macrophage cell therapies for oncology. The SLEEK technology remains an important Editas capability in iPSC engineering for a wide variety of future applications.
About Editas Medicine
As a clinical stage genome editing company, Editas Medicine is focused on translating the power and potential of the CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cas12a genome editing systems into a robust pipeline of treatments for people living with serious diseases around the world. Editas Medicine aims to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize transformative, durable, precision genomic medicines for a broad class of diseases. Editas Medicine is the exclusive licensee of Broad Institute and Harvard University’s Cas9 patent estates and Broad Institute’s Cas12a patent estate for human medicines.
MEDTECH, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
Businesswire | April 03, 2023
Sonoma Biotherapeutics, Inc. and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced a collaboration to apply their scientific and clinical expertise and respective technology platforms to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel regulatory T cell (Treg) therapies for autoimmune diseases. The collaboration will bring together Regeneron’s industry-leading VelociSuite® technologies for the discovery and characterization of fully human antibodies and T cell receptors (TCRs) with Sonoma Biotherapeutics’ pioneering approach to developing and manufacturing gene-modified Treg cell therapies.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sonoma Biotherapeutics will receive $75 million in upfront payments, which includes a $30 million equity investment in Sonoma by Regeneron. Sonoma is also eligible to receive a $45 million development milestone payment. Regeneron and Sonoma will jointly research and develop Treg cell therapies for ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and two other undisclosed indications, with a Regeneron option for a fifth indication. The parties will equally co-fund research and development for all potential products and share equally any future commercial expenses and profits. Regeneron will have the option to lead late-stage development and commercialization on all products globally, with Sonoma retaining rights to co-promote all such products in the United States. Sonoma will also retain full ownership of its lead cell therapy candidate, SBT-77-7101, and other programs in development.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Regeneron with the goal of developing best-in-class Treg therapies for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's, and other diseases,” said Jeff Bluestone, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sonoma Biotherapeutics. “Regeneron has a track record of seeking out pioneers in their fields and forging successful partnerships. This collaboration will combine Regeneron’s proven technology and clinical expertise with Sonoma Bio’s proprietary Treg platform and Treg research enterprise to develop therapies that restore balance to the immune system and potentially cure disease.”
“Regeneron’s investigational pipeline includes a diverse range of cutting-edge scientific approaches, and we are pleased to expand this toolkit further through a partnership with Sonoma to explore the potential of engineered Treg cell therapies with enhanced functionality and the ability to target specific tissues,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “Both Regeneron and Sonoma have strong foundations in basic scientific research, and by bringing together our complementary expertise, we hope to harness the power of Tregs to make further progress in the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”
Treg cells act as sentinels that survey the body for unwanted immune attacks and rebalance the immune system. Tregs as a therapeutic modality potentially possess multiple therapeutic effects, within a single medicine, helping overcome the multifaceted nature of autoimmune and inflammatory disease. Emerging research shows that enhanced Treg cells work directly at the site of inflammation and have the potential to create a durable response. This paradigm-shifting approach could possibly transform treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
About Sonoma Biotherapeutics
Sonoma Biotherapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing engineered regulatory T cell (Treg) therapies to treat serious autoimmune and inflammatory diseases by restoring balance to the immune system. Founded by pioneers in Treg biology and cell therapy, the company is employing proprietary platform technologies and approaches to develop a new generation of targeted and durable Treg cell therapies. Sonoma Biotherapeutics is based in South San Francisco and Seattle.
INDUSTRIAL IMPACT, MEDICAL
Molecular Assemblies, Inc. | March 15, 2023
On March 14, 2023, Molecular Assemblies, Inc., a leading life sciences company, made a significant announcement regarding its enzymatic DNA synthesis technology. The company has successfully shipped the first enzymatically synthesized oligonucleotides to leading researchers in biotechnology, academic, and synthetic biology. The capacity to synthesize lengthy, extremely pure DNA promptly utilizing a proprietary Fully Enzymatic Synthesis (FES) technology solves critical unmet demands in DNA synthesis, thus allowing demanding and high-value applications such as CRISPR gene editing.
Long, highly pure single-stranded oligonucleotides are critical in various applications, such as CRISPR gene editing tools used in therapeutic development, research discovery and protein engineering. However, the availability of desired sequences required to make advanced edits has been a significant bottleneck.
Molecular Assemblies' Key Client Program gives chosen researchers priority access to lengthy and customized oligonucleotides synthesized utilizing the company's FES technology. Thanks to this initiative, customers are expected to speed up their research in CRISPR gene editing and other applications needing long oligonucleotides. In addition, key customers can give input to shape the future of enzymatic DNA synthesis. Molecular Assemblies plans to present more details about the technology at the SynBioBeta 2023 conference in Oakland, California, from May 23-25.
Molecular Assemblies' President and CEO Michael J. Kamdar commented, "With the achievement of this significant commercial milestone, we are proving that fully enzymatic synthesis can deliver the DNA that customers want today, without compromise," He further emphasized, "Customers want application-ready DNA, unrestricted by length and sequence-complexity, which we know is essential to power new breakthroughs in scientific research and accelerate innovation for many industries, including next generation medicines and technologies."
(Source – PR Newswire)
About Molecular Assemblies, Inc.
Molecular Assemblies, Inc. is a leading company dedicated to developing enzymatic DNA synthesis technology to address key challenges in DNA synthesis. Its proprietary Fully Enzymatic Synthesis (FES) technology aims to provide an innovative solution to produce long, pure DNA quickly, efficiently, and sustainably. As a result, molecular Assemblies' FES technology has the potential to transform the field of DNA synthesis by enabling the production of high-quality, long oligonucleotides. This development has significant implications for research discovery, therapeutic development, and protein engineering, particularly in the context of CRISPR gene editing. The company was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in San Diego, California. It has received significant funding from various sources, including venture capital firms, angel investors, and government agencies.