Initial focus of partnership will aim to develop cancer therapeutics
Today, we announced a partnership with Esperovax, an innovative developer of oral mRNA biologics, to develop circular RNAs (circRNAs) for a variety of therapeutic applications. Initially, Ginkgo and Esperovax will work to develop circRNAs harboring payloads to specifically target colorectal cancer by inducing cell death only in cancerous cells.
CircRNAs represent an emerging, powerful mechanism for delivering therapeutics and vaccines due to their protein-coding potential and improved stability in comparison to their linear mRNA counterparts.
This partnership aims to further exploit circRNAs by developing a novel mechanism to facilitate RNA circularization specifically in colorectal cancer cells. This would result in extended expression of the toxic payload solely in cancer cells, reducing toxicity and resulting side effects from the death of normal cells. By combining omics datasets, computational approaches, and high-throughput screening capabilities, Ginkgo will design, build and screen large numbers of RNA designs that leverage and optimize Esperovax’s novel mechanism of cell-type specific circularization.
Through our growing portfolio of programs in cell and gene therapy and RNA therapeutics, and recent acquisition of Circularis, Ginkgo is uniquely positioned to enable new solutions in these areas with circRNA.
“Given therapeutic developments in recent years, the idea of inducing a suicide gene therapy system in a tissue-specific manner has gained traction,” said Randy Wayne Schekman, a Nobel Prize recipient in Physiology or Medicine and Advisor at Esperovax. “As we aim to build off that traction with the ultimate goal of improving cancer patient outcomes, Ginkgo’s momentum and achievements in the therapeutics space made the company an essential and trusted team to partner with, giving us the confidence that we can eventually make this goal a reality.”
We’re thrilled to use our platform to further develop and optimize Esperovax’s novel mechanism for circularization and enable advancements in the therapeutics space – a core area of our work together.
Find the full press release here along with all of the latest news from the Ginkgo team.
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