INDUSTRIAL IMPACT, MEDICAL
Accesswire | March 24, 2023
Moderna, Inc. a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA therapeutics and vaccines, and Generation Bio Co. a biotechnology company innovating genetic medicines for people living with rare and prevalent diseases, today announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic collaboration to combine Moderna's biological and technical expertise with core technologies of Generation Bio's non-viral genetic medicine platform. The collaboration aims to expand the application of each company's platform by developing novel nucleic acid therapeutics, including those capable of reaching immune cells, to accelerate their respective pipelines of non-viral genetic medicines.
"Moderna continues to invest in innovative technology to enable us to develop a breadth of transformative medicines for patients," said Rose Loughlin, Ph.D., Moderna's Senior Vice President for Research and Early Development. "Through this collaboration, which builds on Generation Bio's non-viral genetic medicines platform, we have the potential to target immune cells with diverse nucleic acid cargos and the liver for gene replacement. We are excited to have Generation Bio as our partner as we continue to broaden our therapeutic pipeline and extend the potential benefit of nucleic acid therapeutics to more patients."
"Non-viral DNA therapeutics may offer durable, redosable, titratable genetic medicines to patients suffering from rare and prevalent diseases on a global scale," said Phillip Samayoa, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer of Generation Bio. "This collaboration represents a foundational investment in our platform science, both deepening our pipeline of rare and prevalent liver disease programs beyond hemophilia A and accelerating our work to reach outside of the liver with nucleic acid therapies. We are thrilled to collaborate with Moderna to extend genetic medicines to new tissues and cell types through the joint development of novel targeting for our stealth ctLNPs to reach immune cells."
About the Collaboration
Under the terms of the agreement, Moderna may advance two immune cell programs, each of which may use a jointly developed ctLNP to deliver ceDNA. In addition, Moderna may advance two liver programs, each of which may use a liver-targeted ctLNP developed by Generation Bio to deliver ceDNA. Moderna retains an option to license a third program for either immune cells or the liver.
Generation Bio will receive a $40 million upfront cash payment and a $36 million equity investment issued at a premium over recent share prices. Moderna will fund all collaboration work, including a research pre-payment. Generation Bio is also eligible for future development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as royalties on global net sales of liver-targeted and immune cell-targeted products commercialized under the agreement. The agreement additionally provides Moderna with the right, subject to certain terms and conditions, to purchase additional shares of common stock in connection with a future equity financing by Generation Bio.
Further, Moderna and Generation Bio will both leverage collaboration research to continue to advance in vivo immune cell targeting as a new class of genetic medicines, with downstream economics on products utilizing such technology. Generation Bio is eligible to receive certain exclusivity fees as well as potential development and regulatory milestones and royalties on products that Moderna advances using ctLNP technology developed under the collaboration.
In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for rapid clinical and commercial production at scale. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna's capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use and approval of one of the earliest and most effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moderna's mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and auto-immune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past eight years.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY, DIAGNOSTICS
Businesswire | March 28, 2023
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and CRISPR Therapeutics announced that they have entered into a new non-exclusive licensing agreement for the use of CRISPR Therapeutics’ gene editing technology, known as CRISPR/Cas9, to accelerate the development of Vertex’s hypoimmune cell therapies for type 1 diabetes (T1D).
“We have multiple programs in our T1D portfolio including VX-880 and VX-264, which are in the clinic, as well as our hypoimmune program, in preclinical development,” said Bastiano Sanna, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief of Cell and Genetic Therapies at Vertex. “Having successfully demonstrated clinical proof of concept in T1D in our VX-880 program, we are excited to deepen our relationship with CRISPR Therapeutics with this agreement, which will allow us to further accelerate our goal of generating fully differentiated, insulin-producing hypoimmune islet cells for T1D.”
“We are pleased to expand our long and successful relationship with Vertex with this collaboration which fully leverages our gene editing platform to develop hypoimmune cell therapies for T1D,” said Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of CRISPR Therapeutics. “In parallel, we continue to expand our capabilities in regenerative medicine and advance our existing allogeneic gene-edited cell therapy programs.”
Under this agreement, Vertex will pay CRISPR Therapeutics $100 million up-front for non-exclusive rights to CRISPR Therapeutics’ technology for the development of hypoimmune gene-edited cell therapies for T1D. CRISPR Therapeutics will be eligible for up to an additional $230 million in research and development milestones and receive royalties on any future products resulting from this agreement.
CRISPR and ViaCyte, Inc., which was acquired by Vertex in 2022, will continue to collaborate on their existing gene-edited allogeneic stem cell therapies, using ViaCyte cells, for the treatment of diabetes under the terms of their collaboration. A Phase 1/2 study of VCTX211, an allogeneic, gene-edited, stem cell-derived product candidate for T1D, which originated under the CRISPR Therapeutics and ViaCyte collaboration, has been initiated and is ongoing. CRISPR Therapeutics will not obtain any interest in Vertex’s pre-existing pipeline of T1D products, including VX-880 and VX-264.
Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases. The company has multiple approved medicines that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) — a rare, life-threatening genetic disease — and has several ongoing clinical and research programs in CF. Beyond CF, Vertex has a robust clinical pipeline of investigational small molecule, cell and genetic therapies in other serious diseases where it has deep insight into causal human biology, including sickle cell disease, beta thalassemia, APOL1-mediated kidney disease, pain, type 1 diabetes, and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex's global headquarters is now located in Boston's Innovation District and its international headquarters is in London. Additionally, the company has research and development sites and commercial offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry's top places to work, including 13 consecutive years on Science magazine's Top Employers list and one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals and Best Workplaces for Women.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines | March 13, 2023
Nucleus Biologics and Stoic Bio have teamed up to form a supply agreement with the Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM), a contract development and manufacturing organization that aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of advanced therapies. Under the agreement, Nucleus Biologics will become CBM's selected supplier of cell culture media and other biological solutions, ensuring a consistent supply of this critical material with tighter quality control measures.
Nucleus Biologics' approach to cell culture media, which sees it as a critical raw material that can drive desired attributes of cells crucial to the success of cell and gene therapy research, is complementary to CBM's focus on transparency, technology, and end-to-end solutions. By working together, they hope to expedite cell and gene therapy breakthroughs.
In addition, CBM will be an early adopter of Stoic Bio's innovative family of point-of-use media makers, Krakatoa™, which allows scientists to manufacture their own media with 65% fewer CO2 emissions than conventional media. By demonstrating that developing and manufacturing lifesaving therapies doesn't have to come with a high environmental cost, CBM hopes to set an example for the industry.
With over 2,200 cell and gene therapies in development, collaborations like this one are needed to speed up the process of getting these therapies to the clinic and ultimately approved. The CBM, Stoic Bio and Nucleus Biologics collaboration aim to create a unique service offering that introduces a paradigm shift in development and manufacturing, showing how technology and sustainability can converge to make better therapies sustainably.
About The Center for Breakthrough Medicines
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) is a CDMO focused on accelerating the development and manufacture of advanced therapies to save lives. It offers end-to-end solutions such as process development, manufacturing, and quality control for cell and gene therapies, gene editing, and immunotherapies. In addition, CBM collaborates with pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, and healthcare providers to make advanced therapies more accessible while ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. The company also prioritizes sustainability by implementing green initiatives and sustainable technology and strives to positively impact the communities it operates in.