Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Dyno Therapeutics came out of stealth mode with an official launch of its proprietary CapsidMap platform. The company leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to improve gene therapy. The CapsidMap platform allows it to design novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors that it believes can improve current techniques for gene therapy.
Dyno says that with its research-and-development and collaboration deals with biopharma companies, it is potentially eligible for more than $2 billion in upfront payments, research support, and various milestones and option fees. To date, it has announced partnerships with Novartis and Sarepta Therapeutics, which they also announced today.
With Sarepta, Dyno will handle design and discovery of novel AAV capsids to improve gene therapy for muscle diseases, while Sarepta will be responsible for preclinical, clinical and commercial activities. Dyno is eligible for more than $40 million in upfront, option and license payments during the research phase of the partnership. If Sarepta develops and commercializes multiple candidates for various muscle diseases, Dyno is eligible for more milestones, as well as royalties.
“Sarepta’s world-leading gene therapy engine is founded on three pillars: developing a broad portfolio of programs to treat rare disease; our first-in-class manufacturing expertise; and investment in advancing and further improving the science of gene therapy to help patients in need of more options,” said Doug Ingram, Sarepta’s president and chief executive officer. “To that end, our agreement with Dyno provides us with another valuable tool to develop next-generation capsids for gene therapies to treat rare diseases.”
The Novartis partnership focuses on developing improved AAV vectors for gene therapies for ocular diseases. Dyno will be responsible for using its AI technology and tools to design and discover novel AAV capsids and Novartis will handle preclinical, clinical and commercial activities. Financial details were not disclosed, although they include an upfront payment, research funding, license fees, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones, and royalties on net sales.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with Novartis,” said Eric D. Kelsic, co-founder and chief executive officer of Dyno. “Many eye diseases are ideally suited to being treated with gene therapies, and more opportunities can be opened with new and improved AAV vectors.”
Dyno’s technology platform is built on intellectual property that came out of the laboratory of George Church, the Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, who is a co-founder of the company. Dyno has an exclusive option for a license deal with Harvard University for the technology.
Dyno launched in late 2018 with $9 million financing co-led by Polaris Partners and CRV. Alan Crane, co-founder of Dyno and Entrepreneur Partner at Polaris Partners, and Dylan Morris, General Partner at CRV, are on Dyno’s board of directors, with Alan Crane acting as Dyno’s Executive Chairman.
“At Dyno, we see a vast opportunity to expand the treatment landscape for gene therapies,” Kelsic said. “The success of gene therapy relies on the ability of vectors to safely and precisely deliver a gene to the intended target cells and tissues. Our approach addresses the major limitations of naturally occurring AAV vectors and creates optimized, disease-specific vectors for gene therapies with great curative potential. Our portfolio of R&D programs and newly-announced collaborations with leading gene therapy developers reflect the applicability of our AI-powered approach to improve treatments for patients and expand the number of treatable diseases with gene therapies.”