Ginkgo Bioworks increases gene therapy capacity by acquisition
Ginkgo Bioworks has acquired the capsid discovery and engineering platform assets related to the adeno-associated virus (AAV) StrideBio.
The secondary closure is scheduled following the transfer of certain additional license agreements to Ginkgo Bioworks.
Ginkgo Bioworks will incorporate assets and IP into its end-to-end AAV gene therapy development platform, enabling enterprise customers to leverage the new tools to effectively target different tissue types, and potentially improve the safety profile of their future gene therapy.
Ginkgo Bioworks also accepts the existing StrideBio capsid library, which includes advanced candidates that were tested extensively in large animal models, and which are now available for licensing and broader partnerships. In addition, Ginkgo Bioworks is receiving the IP and data for StrideBio’s primary preclinical asset for arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a rare genetic heart disease, which the company plans to sell or license to commercial partners.
The acquisition is focused on the enabling IP of the StrideBio platform, and does not include any real estate. A StrideBio employee will move to Ginkgo Bioworks as part of the transaction, joining Ginkgo Bioworks’ team of mammal technicians.
AAV remains the viral vector of choice for gene therapy. It is used in hundreds of active clinical trials. However, pharmaceutical developers focusing on AAV still face challenges regarding limitations in targeted biodistribution, preexisting immunogenicity and manufacturability.
The StrideBio STRIVE platform – which uses a structural engineering approach to generate novel AAV capsids to overcome these limitations – has produced a candidate library that includes mature assets with strong demonstrated evidence of performance and targeting across a variety of animal models.
The StrideBio platform produces capsids designed to overcome the limitations of current first-generation gene therapy, including reduced seroprevalence, increased tropism for extra-hepatic cell types such as the central nervous system and muscle tissue, and increased gene transfer efficiency, with the potential to improve safety and reduce doses. at the clinic.
“The StrideBio team has built a deep network of capsid and AAV libraries to address the critical challenges facing clinical gene therapy with a focus on reducing vector doses and increasing safety by limiting off-target biodistribution,” said Aravind Asokan, who co-founded StrideBio with Pat Ritschel and the late Mavis Agbandje-McKenna.
“With Ginkgo’s expertise and scale, we hope to strengthen this effort and spread this platform to the gene therapy industry and ultimately, patients.”
Enzyme capabilities of Ginkgo Bioworks
“Combining Ginkgo’s engineering and discovery capabilities in enzymes, regulatory elements and capsids allows for a holistic approach to designing AAV gene therapies, so that we can support our partners throughout the viral vector design process,” said Narendra Maheshri, head of mammalian engineering at Ginkgo Bioworks.
“We are excited to integrate the STRIVE platform and know-how into our foundry to enhance our capabilities in capsid engineering, and we look forward to continuing to expand our existing end-to-end capabilities in AAV discovery and manufacturing.”
Ginkgo Bioworks has expanded its work and capabilities in gene therapy in recent years by acquiring Circularis’ circular RNA and promoter screening platform, partnering with Biogen to enhance AAV manufacturing, and partnering with Selecta Biosciences to develop AAV capsids with altered tropism and immunogenicity.
Ginkgo Bioworks has developed several capabilities that enhance its ability to leverage assets such as those in this acquisition, including the ability to efficiently and quickly generate large pools of candidates for testing, a scalable approach to protein engineering, and its ability to deploy sequencing and computing. pipelines to accelerate the analysis of capsid effectiveness in the network of interest.