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Cincinnati Children’s Hospital lands its biggest commercialization deal yet with launch of new biopharma company targeting sickle cell


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: December 4th, 2018

Roivant Sciences, a biotech commercialization company based in Switzerland, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have launched a drug development company targeting hematological conditions such as sickle cell disease.

The start-up, Aruvant Sciences, is advancing a gene therapy known as RVT-1801, which increases functioning red blood cells by inserting a modified fetal hemoglobin gene into autologous stem cells.

Studies have suggested that sickle cell patients with higher levels of fetal hemoglobin have fewer hospitalizations, and RVT-1801 is the only known clinical-stage gene therapy to deliver the hemoglobin, which has been modified to optimize oxygen carrying capacity and anti-sickling properties.

The launch of Aruvant Sciences marks the Cincinnati hospital’s biggest commercialization deal to date, according to officials at the hospital’s tech transfer arm Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Ventures. Though financial terms haven’t been disclosed, the deal does include “a very large upfront payment,” milestone payments, royalties and stock in Aruvant, says Andrew Wooten, vice president of Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Ventures.

“Roivant has been a valued partner of Cincinnati Children’s for several years, and we are delighted to work together on the launch of Aruvant, a new company which will have staff based right here in Cincinnati,” says Peggy Hostetter, chief medical officer at Cincinnati Children’s.

“An important goal of our research enterprise is to facilitate the translation of promising discoveries from bench to bedside,” adds Hostetter. “The closing of this deal represents a significant step in ensuring this program has the potential to impact patients here in Cincinnati and around the world.”

Sources: PR Newswire and Local 12

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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