RARE Daily

Replay Launches Big DNA HSV Gene Therapy Company, Telaria, Focused on Rare Skin Diseases

November 22, 2022

Replay, a gene writing company using a hub-and-spoke model to separate technology development from therapeutic development, launched Telaria, its second product company, to focus on rare skin diseases.

Telaria is the second of Replay’s four synHSV gene therapy product companies and its launch of Eudora, a company targeting genetic diseases of the retina. Replay raised $55 million in seed financing in July 2022 and is supported by an international syndicate of investors that includes KKR, OMX Ventures, ARTIS Ventures, and Lansdowne Partners.

“The skin is an attractive target for gene therapies and is the largest and most accessible organ,” said Adrian Woolfson, executive chairman, president and co-founder of Replay. “Telaria, focused exclusively on the development of transformative treatments for rare genetic skin diseases, and the second of our four synHSV product companies to launch, represents another significant step towards building an enduring company with the potential to shape the future of genomic medicine through addressing some of the most substantive challenges that currently limit the progress of clinical medicine.”

The lead indication in Telaria’s pipeline is recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), a genetic skin disease that causes the skin to be fragile and blister easily. RDEB is generally more severe than its dominant counterpart and involves widespread blistering that may lead to scarring, severe pain, and disfigurement. It can affect multiple internal organs and causes serious medical issues that may include chronic inflammation and squamous cell carcinoma.

There is currently no cure for the approximately 50,000 RDEB patients world-wide, and palliative wound care is the current standard of care. A disease-modifying gene therapy with the ability to heal wounds more rapidly or prevent their formation would represent a significant benefit to patients.

Replay’s synHSV technology is a high payload capacity gene-deleted HSV-1 vector capable of delivering up to eight times the payload of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. This enables the delivery of genes that are too big to fit into AAV and facilitates polygenic gene therapy. Replay is, additionally, developing an HSV vector capable of delivering up to 30 times the AAV payload.

“Through our model, we have been able to build and incentivize a team of leading experts in genetic skin disease and leverage our next-generation high payload capacity synHSV technology to progress the development of a much-needed therapeutic treatment for individuals with RDEB and a selection of other rare and debilitating skin diseases,” said Lachlan MacKinnon, CEO and co-founder of Replay.

Photo: Lachlan MacKinnon, CEO and co-founder of Replay

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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