Developing Next-Generation Gene Therapy Capsids with Selecta Biosciences

Selecta Biosciences intends to use Ginkgo’s cell programming platform to develop next-gen gene therapies using AAV capsids.

Gene therapy is one of the newest wave of treatments for many rare or orphaned diseases. However, current methods often result in unwanted immune responses.

What if you could grow the newest generation of therapies for human disease?

Together with Selecta Biosciences, Ginkgo is launching a collaboration to develop safer and more effective next-generation gene therapy adeno-associated viral capsids. Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are a type of gene delivery vector system. But several obstacles, including how these viruses interact with the immune system (immunogenicity), how well they can get into the cells (tropism), and how well they get DNA into the cells’ genomes (transduction efficiency), must still be overcome before fully realizing the AAV vector systems for many patient treatments. There are many types of AAVs, and they each work differently in different tissues, partially because of variations in the capsid–the protein coat of the virus.

The partnership with Selecta leverages the unique platforms of both companies as we seek to develop next-generation viral capsids with improved transduction, enhanced tissue tropism, and reduced immunogenicity. Ginkgo plans to design and engineer the capsids, and Selecta will conduct all pre-clinical and clinical studies thereafter.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Ginkgo in a second collaboration that leverages Ginkgo’s leading cell engineering platform to design viral vector capsids with the goal of improved transduction, enhanced tissue tropism and reduced immunogenicity” said Carsten Brunn, CEO of Selecta Biosciences. “By combining ImmTOR with next-generation, fit-for-purpose AAV vectors, we hope to further improve the safety and efficacy of AAV-mediated gene therapies.”

Under the terms of the collaboration, Ginkgo is eligible to earn upfront research and development fees and milestone payments, including certain milestone payments in the form of Selecta common stock. In addition, Ginkgo is eligible to earn clinical, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $200 million in cash for each of a specified number of products, which have the potential to total, in the aggregate, up to $1.1 billion. Ginkgo is also entitled to potential further downstream value in the form of royalties on sales.

Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo, added, “Gene therapies utilize naturally occurring viral capsids that elicit immune responses and often exhibit safety and toxicity issues. We believe our collaboration with Selecta has the potential to confront major challenges within the gene therapy space and represents an important application of our cell programming platform. We look forward to executing on our shared vision and offering a potential solution for challenges in gene therapies that prevent treatment for millions of patients.”

Read the full press release here.

Advancing Treatments for Orphan and Rare Diseases with Selecta Biosciences

Rare and orphan diseases affect hundreds of thousands of Americans, and many treatments cause unwanted immune responses.

What if you could mitigate unwanted immune responses and amplify the efficacy of therapies?

This is exactly what Selecta Biosciences aims to do in collaboration with Ginkgo. Together, we plan to design novel and improved enzymes with transformative and therapeutic potential to advance treatments for select orphan and rare diseases. This partnership leverages the unique platforms of both companies: Selecta’s clinically-validated ImmTOR™ platform, which is developing tolerogenic therapies, and Ginkgo’s horizontal platform for cell programming.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Ginkgo is eligible to earn upfront research and development fees and milestones, including certain milestone payments in the form of Selecta common stock, clinical and commercial milestone payments of up to $85M in cash, as well as further downstream value in the form of royalties on sales.

“We are excited to partner with Ginkgo and expect that our ImmTOR technology, in combination with Ginkgo’s high throughput enzyme discovery, design, and screening capabilities will bring us one step closer to improving the sustained efficacy of novel biologic therapeutics,” said Carsten Brunn, PhD, CEO at Selecta Biosciences. “Further, this collaboration builds on extensive preclinical as well as strong clinical data from Selecta’s Phase 2 COMPARE trial for the treatment of chronic refractory gout that further supports ImmTOR’s potential for sustained therapeutic benefit when combined with immunogenic enzymatic therapies. We look forward to expanding our pipeline and ultimately delivering on our shared mission to improve the lives of patients in need.”

Ginkgo works with a growing list of industry leaders that are addressing outstanding medical challenges with diverse therapeutic modalities, and we are thrilled to partner with Selecta in an effort to discover, engineer, and develop next generation therapeutic enzymes. We’re excited to support Selecta in its mission to improve the quality of life for patients with unmet medical needs by expediting and maximizing Selecta’s capabilities.

Read the full press release here.