Rare Daily Staff

Biogen and synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks have formed a collaboration to develop a next-generation AAV production platform to help accelerate Biogen’s efforts to bring novel gene therapies to patients.

Ginkgo will use its synthetic biology expertise to expand the therapeutic utility of gene therapies and overcome development challenges of viral vectors used to deliver them.

Recombinant AAV-based vectors are widely used to develop innovative gene therapies and have the potential to treat certain neurological and neuromuscular diseases as well as other conditions across multiple therapeutic areas. Currently, manufacturing is time-consuming and expensive making it difficult to develop therapies for diseases with high dose needs and with large patient populations.

Ginkgo will apply its mammalian cell programming platform, with the aim to improve the efficiency of AAV-producing plasmid vectors and cell lines, which could accelerate Biogen’s development of novel gene therapies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen will pay Ginkgo $5 million in an upfront payment and up to $115 million in potential research, development, and commercial milestones.

“We believe that Ginkgo’s unique combination of cell programming expertise, proprietary tools and knowledge of biological systems make them an ideal collaboration partner to explore a large number of design ideas with the goal of optimizing constructs,” said Alphonse Galdes, head of pharmaceutical operations and technology at Biogen. “They share our goal of ensuring approved therapies are not delayed by manufacturing constraints and are available to patients worldwide.”

Photo: Alphonse Galdes, head of pharmaceutical operations and technology at Biogen

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