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Kriya Acquires Warden Bio to Expand Gene Therapy Pipeline and Establish Rare Disease Division

January 7, 2022

Gene therapy biotech Kriya Therapeutics has acquired Warden Bio, a company developing novel AAV-mediated gene therapies for glycogen storage disorders to obtain exclusive rights to Warden Bio’s five preclinical gene therapy programs and serving as the foundation for Kriya’s Rare Disease Division focused on the discovery and development of gene therapies for rare diseases.

Photo: Kunal Kishnani is joining Kriya as president of its Rare Disease Division

Glycogen storage disorders (GSDs) are a group of rare disorders caused by distinct single enzyme deficiencies involved in the synthesis or breakdown of glycogen. Warden Bio was established with a goal of comprehensively addressing multiple GSDs without approved therapies based on pioneering gene therapy technologies originally developed at Duke University. Currently, approved therapies are only available for one type of GSD, Pompe disease (GSD II).

Kriya is a fully integrated company that aims to revolutionize how gene therapies are designed, developed, and manufactured, to improve speed to market and deliver significant reductions in cost through four business units that cover the gamut of discovery through manufacturing. The company’s pipeline includes gene therapies in multiple therapeutic area divisions, with current programs in ophthalmology, oncology, rare disease, and chronic disease.

“This acquisition and the establishment of our Rare Disease Division align with our commitment to accelerating the advancement of best-in-class gene therapies,” said Shankar Ramaswamy, co-founder and CEO of Kriya. “Kriya’s technology and manufacturing platforms uniquely position our company to drive meaningful progress to address a group of diseases in desperate need of new and better treatments.”

Together with the acquisition, Warden Bio co-founder Kunal Kishnani is joining Kriya as president of its Rare Disease Division, where he will lead overall strategic, development, and partnership activities. Prior to founding Warden Bio, Kishnani was a member of the corporate development team at Roivant Sciences, where he was responsible for helping to evaluate and negotiate new investment opportunities and strategic alliances.

“Despite recent advancements in the rare disease field, many conditions remain significantly undertreated. There is an urgent need to address rare diseases such as GSDs, and we are committed to making the treatment of these patients our priority – both previously at Warden Bio and now at Kriya,” said Kunal Kishnani.

The new GSD gene therapy programs Warden Bio brings to Kriya are based on research led by the lab of Priya Kishnani, Chen Family distinguished professor and division chief for Medical Genetics at Duke University, in close collaboration with Aravind Asokan, professor and director of Gene Therapy at Duke University and co-founder of StrideBio. Prya Kishnani and his teams efforts are most notably demonstrated by the long-standing research and clinical experience that resulted in FDA approval of alglucosidase alfa (Myozyme/Lumizyme) as the first available treatments for Pompe disease. Kishnani and Asokan will become Scientific Advisors to Kriya as the company advances its portfolio of gene therapies for GSDs and other diseases.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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