Globenewswire | May 04, 2023
Magenta Therapeutics, Inc. and Dianthus Therapeutics, Inc. a privately-held, clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to advancing the next generation of antibody complement therapeutics, announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to combine the companies in an all-stock transaction. The combined company will focus on advancing Dianthus’ pipeline of next-generation complement inhibitors, including DNTH103 currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial. Upon completion of the merger, the combined company is expected to operate under the name Dianthus Therapeutics, Inc. and trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “DNTH”.
In support of the merger, Dianthus has secured commitments for a $70 million private investment in its common stock and pre-funded warrants from a syndicate of healthcare investors led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, Catalio Capital Management, 5AM Ventures, Avidity Partners, Wedbush Healthcare Partners and founding investors Fairmount, Tellus BioVentures and Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, that is expected to close immediately prior to completion of the merger. With the cash expected from both companies at closing and the proceeds of the concurrent private financing, the combined company is expected to have approximately $180 million of cash or cash equivalents immediately post-closing. The cash resources are intended to be used to advance Dianthus’ pipeline through multiple clinical data catalysts and is expected to fund operations into mid-2026. The merger and related financing are expected to close in the third quarter of 2023.
“I’m delighted to announce this planned merger with Magenta, which comes at a pivotal moment in the evolution of our company as we advance our pipeline of next-generation complement therapeutics for people living with severe autoimmune diseases,” said Marino Garcia, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dianthus Therapeutics. “Gaining access to the public capital markets can enhance our financial strength and fuel our growth strategy, enabling us to unlock the full potential of our pipeline, including our plans to address multiple autoimmune disorders with our clinical-stage active C1s inhibitor, DNTH103.”
“After a thorough exploration of our strategic alternatives, management and our Board of Directors believe the transaction with Dianthus Therapeutics will culminate in a successful outcome for our stockholders,” said Steve Mahoney, President, Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Magenta. “Dianthus has made rapid progress in developing and advancing DNTH103 into the clinic where it has the potential to be a transformative classical pathway inhibitor for severe autoimmune diseases. We are extremely grateful to our current and former employees who contributed to Magenta’s efforts to develop its programs and we now look forward to the combined company’s advancement on opportunities for value creation for patients.”
Magenta previously announced a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives in February 2023 and has since completed winding down a majority of its activities and costs associated with its research and development initiatives, including the termination of its lease and the sale of key assets.
erving as co-financial adviser and Goodwin Procter LLP is serving as legal counsel to Magenta Therapeutics. Jefferies, Evercore ISI, Guggenheim Securities and Raymond James are serving as the placement agents to Dianthus Therapeutics, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is serving as legal counsel to Dianthus Therapeutics.
About Magenta Therapeutics
Magenta Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing medicines to bring the curative power of stem cell transplant to more patients with blood cancers, genetic diseases and autoimmune diseases. Magenta is combining leadership in stem cell biology and biotherapeutics development with clinical and regulatory expertise, a unique business model and broad networks in the stem cell transplant community to revolutionize immune reset for more patients.
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.
INDUSTRIAL IMPACT, MEDICAL
prnewswire | April 04, 2023
Sensible Biotechnologies, an early stage biotechnology company, today announced a partnership to develop an in vivo microbial mRNA manufacturing platform with Ginkgo Bioworks which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity.
Today, the vast majority of mRNA used in vaccines, therapeutics and other applications is produced by in vitro transcription (IVT), a cell-free process, which is driven by purified enzymes. In conventional mRNA manufacturing, production runs are typically limited in reaction volume size, and the resulting mRNA needs to go through expensive purification processes to eliminate potentially harmful byproducts like dsRNA, which can cause adverse immune responses in patients. Moreover, it is difficult to produce high yields of certain kinds of mRNA in an IVT reaction. By contrast, the in vivo mRNA manufacturing method Sensible and Ginkgo are working to develop is designed to scale to upwards of 100,000L, with the goal of superior quality mRNA over traditional IVT, allowing for the production of mRNA molecules with increased length and expanding the potential of the mRNA platform to novel therapeutic modalities.
"mRNA technology has a potential to bring many life-saving therapeutics and vaccines, but its current, cell-free production represents one of the major bottlenecks. In vivo mRNA manufacturing could enable scalable mRNA manufacturing, which has long relied on production methods that face quality control challenges and are inherently difficult to scale," said Miroslav Gasparek, CEO at Sensible. "By working with Ginkgo, we aim to create a scalable commercial-grade manufacturing platform that produces mRNA of higher quality than is possible through in vitro expression and enable the advent of novel mRNA medicines."
v"As the market for mRNA continues to expand, biopharma companies are looking for more efficient and scalable production platforms to produce high-quality mRNA," said Austin Che, co-founder and Head of Strategy at Ginkgo Bioworks. "As Ginkgo deepens its commitment to the emerging field of nucleic acid therapeutics, we are excited to work with the team at Sensible Biotechnologies to optimize their microbial mRNA production platform with the goal of unleashing a new generation of mRNA products."
This partnership with Ginkgo builds on Ginkgo's existing pipeline of mRNA-related programs. Ginkgo worked with Moderna to support process optimization for raw materials used to make mRNA vaccines. Furthermore, through its partnership with Aldevron, Ginkgo optimized the production of vaccinia capping enzyme, an important component often required to manufacture mRNA vaccines and therapeutics. Most recently, Ginkgo announced the acquisition of Circularis, a biotechnology company with a proprietary circular RNA and promoter screening platform, and is actively engaged in improving circular RNA efficacy and manufacturing yields.
About Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo Bioworks is the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, providing flexible, end-to-end services that solve challenges for organizations across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to pharmaceuticals to industrial and specialty chemicals. Ginkgo's biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is building global infrastructure for biosecurity to empower governments, communities, and public health leaders to prevent, detect and respond to a wide variety of biological threats.