Gensaic, a company that seeks to reimagine gene therapy, announced today that it has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Ovid Therapeutics. Under the terms of the collaboration, Gensaic will exclusively develop phage-derived gene delivery vehicles for Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders of interest to Ovid.
“The agreement with Ovid marks an exciting first collaboration for Gensaic with a leading biopharmaceutical company,”
said Lavi Erisson, MD, MPH, MBA co-founder and CEO of Gensaic.
“Ovid’s veteran management team provides a wealth of experience developing and commercializing blockbuster medicines for the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Together, we have the capabilities and academic collaborators to advance this revolutionary gene therapy platform for the brain.”
Under the terms of the collaboration, Ovid invested a total of $5 million in convertible preferred stock in Gensaic. The partners also entered into an agreement to develop up to three genetic medicines for CNS indications harnessing Gensaic’s proprietary PDP platform. Gensaic will retain full rights to its platform technology. Ovid will have commercial rights to license and develop any resulting phage-derived gene therapies that emerge from this collaboration subject to agreed-upon terms. Ovid also retained rights to invest in future rounds.
“We believe genetic medicines are the future of neuroscience, and Gensaic offers an exciting platform that has the potential to overcome known challenges associated with AAV-based technologies,”
said Jeremy M. Levin, D. Phil, MB BChir, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ovid and Chairman of Gensaic.
“This phage-derived platform appears to be optimal for crossing the blood-brain barrier with substantial genetic cargo, and we believe it may hold the potential to treat a broad continuum of diseases of the brain.”
Leveraging Nobel Prize-winning research on phage-display and directed evolution, Gensaic is evolving a phage-derived gene delivery platform to offer a tissue-specific delivery of large genetic cargos (>20kb). PDPs originate from the microbiome and hold promise for an immune-privileged and redosable gene delivery platform. PDPs are part of a new class of gene therapy, called Genetically encoded Nanoparticles (GeNP), that can be manufactured efficiently in bacterial culture. PDPs have the potential to be administered intravenously, orally, inhaled or intrathecally and may, therefore, have application in a multitude of genetic diseases. Gensaic’s current strategic areas of focus for clinical translation are muscle, respiratory and CNS.
M13 Therapeutics, Inc., doing business as Gensaic, is a genomic medicines company that was an MIT spinout, incorporated and funded in 2021, and based in Cambridge, MA. Gensaic’s vision is to offer genetic therapies that are redosable, targetable and accessible. Gensaic’s platform is premised on the evolution of M13 phage-derived particles (PDPs), a member of a new class of Genetically encoded Nanoparticles (GeNP). The platform is a highly modular system consisting of three engineerable capsids and a designer minimal phage DNA (mpDNA) cargo. PDPs are immune-privileged, use phage display for tissue targeting and can package any human gene. PDPs benefit from scalable and efficient manufacturing and may usher in a new era of accessible genomic medicines.
Since its inception, Gensaic has established a deep research platform, secured a broad intellectual property portfolio, received recognition through three golden ticket competitions from BioMarin, Astellas and Merck/Millipore Sigma, and secured its first R&D collaboration. For more information on Gensaic and PDPs visit: www.gensaic.com.