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Serotiny and Tessera Collaborate to Engineer and Optimize Programmable Gene Writer Proteins

February 28, 2022

Tessera Therapeutics entered a collaboration with protein engineering biotech Serotiny to engineer programmable Gene Writer proteins by applying Serotiny’s high-throughput therapeutic Multi-Domain Protein, or tMDP, mining and design expertise to further optimize Tessera’s programmable Gene Writer proteins, capable of making diverse and directed alterations to the genome.

Photo: Geoffrey von Maltzahn, co-founder and CEO of Tessera

Under terms of the agreement Serotiny will receive an upfront payment and is eligible for certain future consideration, contingent upon the collaboration achieving pre-specified performance thresholds.

Serotiny uses tMDP to build better gene and cell therapies such as chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), CAR alternatives, accessory proteins, and gene editors. Its discovery platform harmonizes computationally aided protein design, high-throughput cellular assays, and next generation sequencing to enable a cross disciplinary approach to engineering large and often unstructured multi-domain proteins, applying expertise from synthetic biology, immunology, machine learning, software engineering and bioinformatics.

The collaboration will utilize the Serotiny platform to engineer, analyze, score, and screen Multi-Domain Protein libraries aiming to identify and optimize Tessera’s novel programmable Gene Writer proteins, which can serve as the foundation of future Gene Writer therapies across a variety of disease states.

“Tessera’s mission is to cure disease by writing in the code of life and we’re committed to continuously innovating to improve and expand our Gene Writing platform,” said Geoffrey von Maltzahn, co-founder and CEO of Tessera. “Our R&D engine seeks to learn from billions of years of mobile genetic element evolution to generate novel Gene Writing systems with the ability to solve important challenges in genetic medicine. Serotiny’s multi-domain engineering expertise has the potential to further optimize our Gene Writer protein libraries and we’re delighted to partner with the Serotiny team.”

Tessera says its Gene Writer candidates can allow the substitution, insertion, or deletion of DNA sequences, as well as the writing of entire genes into the genome, offering the potential for a new category of genetic medicines.

The platform has the ability to write therapeutic instructions into the genome to treat diseases at their source. By changing any base pair to another, making small insertions or deletions, and writing entire genes into the genome, Gene Writing can unlock the potential to cure genetic diseases and create life-changing therapeutics in cardiovascular, oncological, neurodegenerative, and infectious diseases.

Gene Writing is inspired by and builds on nature’s most prevalent class of genes: mobile genetic elements. Tessera’s computational and high-throughput laboratory platform has enabled the team to design, build, and test thousands of engineered and synthetic mobile genetic elements for writing and rewriting the human genome.

Tessera says its Gene Writing technologies overcome the limitations of gene editing and gene therapies and expand the universe of diseases tractable by genetic approaches by: efficiently engineering the genome of somatic cells without double stranded-breaks and with minimal reliance on host DNA repair pathways, unlike nuclease-based gene editing technologies; making any base pair substitution, small insertion, or deletion at specific sites in the genome; permanently adding new DNA to dividing cells, unlike AAV-based gene therapy technologies; and writing new DNA sequences into the genome by delivering only RNA.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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