Shape therapy The Seattle company announced on Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with pharmaceutical giant Roche that may exceed $3 billion to support the development of gene therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Shape’s RNA editing technology can change the sequence of RNA, which encodes the protein building blocks of the human body. The company will work with Roche to deploy this technology in preclinical studies of targets related to these neurological diseases and certain rare diseases.
Cooperation can also use the gene delivery technology of biotech companies. The system is designed to deliver RNA editing technology or other payloads directly to specific areas of the body, such as the nervous system or muscles.
Shape’s RNA editing technology may be used to change the number of key regulatory proteins in the body or treat genetic diseases. The company’s gene delivery technology is based on AAV vectors, and the platform is currently used to treat a variety of rare diseases.
Under the agreement, Shape is eligible to receive an initial payment, as well as payments for reaching development, regulatory, and sales milestones that may exceed $3 billion in total value. Any products in the cooperation will be developed and commercialized by Roche.
This collaboration follows a US$112 million Series B investment in the most recent June for the biotech company, which was established in 2018 and its RNA editing technology was isolated from the co-founder’s laboratory Prashanmari, Bioengineer at the University of California, San Diego.
Vigneault is the former research vice president of Juno Therapeutics, a Seattle cell therapy company that was acquired by Celgene in 2018 for $9 billion.Other Juno veterans include Shape’s platform technology leader Adrian Briggs And vice president and head of research David Hus.
New cooperation may reflect Growing interest from pharmaceutical companies After the calm a few years ago, neuroscience is on the rise. The recent FDA approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm may also promote interest in the field.
“This new collaboration is also fully consistent with the broader efforts of our entire Roche Group to unlock the full potential of gene therapy,” said James Sabry, head of Roche Pharmaceuticals Partners, in a statement.