Biogen has entered into a new collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks to develop a novel gene therapy manufacturing platform to ‘redefine the industry standard’ for manufacturing AAV-based vectors.
Although recombinant AAV-based vectors are widely-used to develop gene therapies, manufacturing is time-consuming and costly.
This poses a particular challenge for the development of therapies for diseases with high dose needs and large patient populations.
As part of the collaboration, Ginkgo will apply its mammalian cell programming platform with the aim of improving the efficiency of AAV-producing plasmid vectors and cell lines.
This, in turn, could accelerate Biogen’s development of novel gene therapies, the companies said in a statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen will gain access to Ginkgo’s cell programming platform and capabilities.
Meanwhile, Ginkgo will leverage its bioengineering facilities and resources to potentially enhance the AAV production titers of Biogen’s gene therapy manufacturing processes.
In return, Biogen will pay Ginkgo $5m upfront, as well as an additional $115m in potential milestone payments, dependent on the achievement of certain 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 optimising constructs,” said Alphonse Galdes, head of pharmaceutical operations and technology at Biogen.
“We are excited to collaborate with Biogen as they aim to develop treatments that may potentially slow, halt or cure neurological and neurodegenerative diseases and seek to enhance the industry standard for AAV manufacturing,” said Jason Kelly, chief executive officer of Ginkgo Bioworks.