Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Boston start-up based on UW and Fred Hutch research raises $70M to advance novel gene therapy


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: February 24th, 2021

A Boston-based biotech start-up has raised $70 million to commercialize a groundbreaking gene therapy for a range of conditions including cancer, autoimmune disease, and infectious diseases.

Based on research from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Ensoma has developed a single-injection vector for gene therapy that eliminates the need for stem cell donation or pre-treatments such as chemotherapy. This would dramatically simplify the logistics of scaling production, as well as reduce the burden on the healthcare system. The  treatment can be given in a single injection in settings that include outpatient clinics.

The vectors can carry long stretches of genetic material targeting a variety of cell types, including hematopoietic stem cells that are found in the bone marrow, or cells such as T cells, B cells and myeloid cells that arise from the stem cells. The vectors, which are engineered adenovirus vectors, deliver genetic material that can edit out errors in genetic code, insert genomic information or modify gene expression.

“Because our in vivo therapies do not require prior conditioning or stem cell donors, we hope to deliver them as ‘off-the-shelf’ treatments to address diseases — both rare and common,” says Paula Steropoulos, Ensoma’s executive chairman. “Every person, no matter where they are in the world, should have access to the innovative technologies that are changing the way we treat disease.”

Source: GeekWire

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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