GenScript USA Inc. and Avectas, a cell engineering technology company, are partnering to develop an improved non-viral cell therapy manufacturing process.
The two companies said they share a goal of providing their customers with new methods for developing cell therapies with an improved safety profile over viral and non-viral vector techniques.
By combining Avectas’ cell engineering technology with GenScript’s synthetic long oligo production, the partnership aims to demonstrate a novel and efficient solution for cell therapy manufacturing and to improve editing efficiency and cell viability over traditional delivery methods.
CRISPR-based non-viral gene editing methods have gained popularity among research teams following concerns about the FDA’s recent draft guidance on the use of viruses for gene and cell therapy. GenScript is collaborating with both academic and industry partners in the development of CRISPR non-viral gene editing to enable next-generation gene- and cell-therapy R&D projects.
Intracellular delivery is integral to the generation of engineered ex vivo cell-based therapies, including genome editing approaches. But the limitations of current delivery modalities, both viral and non-viral, led Avectas to develop the non-viral SOLUPORE cell engineering technology, which enables efficient delivery of cargoes into cells for the development of next-generation therapies.
The research teams will apply SOLUPORE technology to permeabilize the target cell membrane so that engineered cargoes can be delivered while retaining very high levels of cell viability and functionality. GenCRISPR synthetic sgRNA and Cas9 protein are then complexed into a ribonucleic protein that is co-delivered with GenExact ssDNA HDR templates into the cell nucleus.
“GenScript is excited to partner with Avectas as part of our program to develop novel RNP and oligo delivery systems for non-viral cell engineering,” said Ray Chen, president of GenScript USA Life Science Group.
“We expect this method will provide our customers with more complete solutions for efficient gene editing using our GenCRISPR sgRNA and ss/dsDNA HDR templates.”
Next-generation cell therapies
“Avectas is delighted to partner with GenScript to combine its innovative editing tools together with our SOLUPORE delivery platform,” said Michael Maguire, CEO of Avectas.
“This will enable the development of next-generation cell therapies differentiated by the quality of the modified cells, which retain high viability, functionality, and post-process proliferation.”