Pharma Focus Asia

AskBio Announces Strategic Collaboration with ReCode Therapeutics to Explore Single Vector Gene Editing Platform

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio), a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of Bayer AG, announced today that it has signed a multi-year research collaboration and option agreement with ReCode Therapeutics. Under this agreement, the companies will work together to potentially discover precision genetic medicines through the development of a novel platform for full gene insertion by single vector delivery of gene editing and DNA cargoes. This represents another step forward for AskBio in developing its gene editing and other nonviral delivery technologies and expertise.

“The collaboration pairs AskBio’s expertise in synthetic DNA and CRISPR applications with ReCode’s novel SORT LNP delivery technology to potentially discover new genetic medicines,” said AskBio’s Chief Executive Officer Sheila Mikhail. “Through this collaboration, we have an opportunity to advance AskBio’s gene editing and nonviral delivery efforts, which support and align with our commitment to serve as an industry-leading engine of gene therapy innovation.”

Under the agreement, AskBio will combine its synthetic DNA and gene editing nucleases with ReCode’s selective organ targeting (SORT) lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology to potentially create an all-in-one solution that enables full gene insertion by delivering with precision both the gene editing tool and DNA as mixed cargo in a single LNP to desired targets. This collaboration could extend the reach of gene editing for liver and lung disease targets.

“AskBio’s pioneering gene editing technology is a powerful complement to our modular SORT LNP genetic medicines platform, which enables the precise delivery of a wide variety of genetic cargoes to specific organs and cells, including large, complex genetic cargoes and mixed payloads,” said Shehnaaz Suliman, M.D., MBA, M.Phil., Chief Executive Officer of ReCode Therapeutics. “We are excited to combine these unique platforms to develop next-generation genetic therapies with the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from a wide range of debilitating genetic diseases.”

In June 2022, ReCode announced the closing of a $200 million Series B extension financing round, co-led by Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment unit of Bayer AG, to further strengthen Leaps by Bayer's innovation portfolio in gene therapies. The funds raised are being used to advance the development of ReCode’s platform and pipeline to selectively deliver genetic medicines to target organ and cell types in a predictable and programmable fashion.

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