The American biotechnology company, Selecta, announced a strategic licensing agreement to develop the next generation of “IgG” proteins with the Swedish company Genovis for enzyme technology and IdeXork (Xork).
This partnership leverages Genovis’ proprietary immunoglobulin G (IgG) protease and Selecta’s ImmTOR platform to enable dosing of transformative gene therapies in patients with pre-existing Adeno Associated Virus immunity (AAV) and treatment of certain autoimmune diseases.
Most of the IgG proteins will be derived from human pathogens and have a high prevalence of pre-existing antibodies.
Under the terms of the agreement, Selecta obtains an exclusive license to IdeXork for all therapeutic uses in humans while Genovis retains the rights to research, preclinical, diagnostic, and other potential non-therapeutic applications of IdeXork.
The partnership includes $6 million in advance and early payments to Genovis, and an additional notable payment of up to $598 million, and will give Genovis the opportunity to expand into the field of gene therapy and autoimmune diseases.
Fredrik Olsson, CEO of Genovis, commented, “We are excited to partner with Selecta as we look to expand into gene therapy and address the challenge of pre-existing immunity to AAV vectors.
We believe that Selecta’s immTOR platform, designed to mitigate unwanted immune responses, in combination with Zorc has the potential to transform both gene therapies and autoimmune diseases.
“This strategic collaboration with Genovis is an important step in expanding our pipeline of new treatments alongside our immTOR platform,” said Carsten Brunn, President and CEO of Selecta.
He noted that the company’s preclinical results in gene therapy showed that immTOR has the ability to increase transgene expression, allowing doses to be reintroduced by generating neutralizing antibodies and possibly leading to safer and more effective gene therapy regimens.