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Research collaboration centered around AAV capsids
AavantiBio, a gene therapy company, is partnering with the University of Florida (UF) to research and develop gene therapy capsids with the goal of creating safer, more effective, and tissue-specific gene therapies. AavantiBio notes that growing this partnership will allow the company to continue to build out its platform focused on furthering gene therapies in areas of unmet medical need.
The firm currently has a partnership with the University of Florida’s Powell Gene Therapy Center and the MDA Care Center at UF Health.
The adeno-associated virus (AAV) is the “delivery vehicle” for gene therapy, but the AAV’s capsid, or protein shell, is what guides the virus to the target cells and tissues, such as the heart, kidneys, lungs and brain. As part of the strategic research collaboration targeting optimized genetic capsid codes, AavantiBio and UF will be using cellular, molecular, and computational tools to cultivate AAV gene therapies.
“ … The smallest changes in the genetic code of gene therapy capsids have the potential to dramatically improve biodistribution and efficacy to targeted tissues,” says Bo Cumbo, president and CEO of AavantiBio. "We look forward to pursuing this exciting research, as we aim to build a sustainable platform approach, beginning with our lead program in Friedreich’s Ataxia, and currently extending into other complex disease areas where there is high unmet need.”
AavantiBio also teamed up with Catalent, a delivery technology provider, on AAV manufacturing earlier this year.