Agilis enters joint venture with GTRI for development of AAV vectors

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Boston based Agilis Therapeutics has entered a manufacturing and collaboration partnership joint venture with the Japan headquartered corporation Gene Therapy Research Institution (GTRI). Focused on developing gene therapies for diseases which affect the central nervous system, Agilis will look to for support in advancing adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector based therapies.

Earlier this year, Japanese Ministry of Trade, Economics and Industry (METI) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) awarded a grant for the development of a state-of-the-art AAV manufacturing facility in Japan. The JV between Agilis and GTRI was initiated on the back of this. The process development and production facility located in the Tokyo area that will be operated by GTRI is designed to meet international manufacturing standards, and thus is suitable for participation in the manufacturing of Agilis’ therapeutics. The JV will be using Sf9 baculovirus and HEK293 mammalian cell systems to develop and optimize AAV vectors, as well as working on expediting the development, approval and commercialization of select gene therapies in specific CNS diseases.

Mark Pykett, Agilis CEO commented, ‘We believe that our partnership will enhance the efforts of both organizations, build important shared production capabilities, and accelerate development and commercialization of important gene therapies. We look forward to working with GTRI on a range of initiatives.’ Co director of the JV and GTRI CEO Katsuhito Asai further stated, ‘Our partnership will seek to capitalize on the strong recent progress in the field of gene therapy and expedite the development of innovative gene therapies for patients in need, with a major emphasis on the quality production of safe, effective therapeutics.’

Source: Agilis Biotherapeutics, Gene Therapy Research Institution Enter Strategic Partnership Press Release