Chinese biotechnology firm Cure Genetics has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim for the development of novel Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) vectors to be used in gene therapies.
The companies will leverage Cure Genetics’ VELP platform to develop the vectors.
Under the partnership, Boehringer’s experience in disease biology and gene therapy development will be combined with Cure Genetics’ AAV expertise in library construction and in vivo AAV screening, with an aim to develop new AAV serotypes for patients.
Clinical applications of existing AAV serotypes are limited by low transduction efficiency, low tissue specificity and immunogenicity. Hence, finding new serotypes is critical for the majority, if not all, AAV-based gene therapies.
Cure Genetics claims that its VELP platform incorporates key methodical innovations including a comprehensive strategy of engineering a plasmid library with high complexity and an effective ratio.
Its AAV production protocol also provides high genome-capsid correspondence and physiologically relevant models for vector selection and validation.
The company further noted that the protocol enables shorter process to find the ‘right’ AAV vectors with all possible effects covered.
Cure Genetics Chief Operating Officer Qiushi Li said: “This is the very first time that a global pharmaceutical group is collaborating with a Chinese biotech in the cutting-edge field of AAV vector engineering. We appreciate the recognition of Boehringer Ingelheim’s recognition of our VELP platform.
“Novel AAV vectors enlarging the therapeutic window is key to unfolding the potential of gene therapy, which is also Cure Genetics’ innovative focus. We believe, together with visionary partners like Boehringer Ingelheim, the quality of life for more patients in need can be improved by next-generation gene therapy.”
Boehringer Ingelheim aims to develop next generation medical breakthrough, and gene therapy is one of the focused areas which its team of Research Beyond Borders is exploring.
The company further said that it can leverage Cure Genetics’ VELP technology platform not only to increase the efficiency of the novel AAV screening, but also to further expand its efforts in the area of gene therapy development.
Boehringer Ingelheim China External Innovation Hub had initiated the collaboration with Cure Genetics.
Last December Boehringer agreed to acquire NBE-Therapeutics, a clinical-stage Swiss biotechnology company for €1.18bn to enhance its cancer pipeline portfolio.