Touchlight, a biotechnology company pioneering enzymatic DNA production to enable genetic medicines, has signed a development and supply agreement with Odimma Therapeutics, a French biotech company focusing on personalized cancer immunotherapy.
The agreement focuses on the provision of clinical material for use in Odimma’s oncological neoantigen program. Through the deal, Odimma will gain access to Touchlight’s proprietary doggybone DNA (dbDNA) vector technology, providing the company with a clinical supply of personalized dbDNA, to support and underpin the development of their candidate immunotherapy cancer treatment. The program is expected to start clinical enrollment in 2023.
Odimma’s approach of harnessing the ability of the patient’s own immune system to specifically recognize non-self-targets displayed by tumor cells represents a step change in the field of immune oncology and opens new avenues for the treatment of difficult to target tumors.
The development of the neoantigen products required for the therapy has faced challenges, including lead time to obtain GMP DNA and complex supply chains. Touchlight’s enzymatic production process, with its five-day manufacturing process, will support Odimma in its program development. This will also allow Odimma’s clinical study to commence promptly for the benefit of patients.
Touchlight’s doggybone DNA is a minimal, linear, double stranded, covalently closed DNA vector. It is produced through an enzymatic manufacturing process. It can accommodate genes of interest of more than 20kb and is linearly scalable, making it adaptable to support a range of genetic medicines. Touchlight said it is ideal for the development of mRNA vaccines, therapeutics, gene therapies and beyond.
Karen Fallen, CEO, Touchlight, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Odimma on this ground-breaking program. Innovation in enzymatic DNA manufacturing is enabling advancements such as Odimma’s Immunotherapy program to deliver treatments to critically ill patients. With a rapid timeline to GMP and high-fidelity process, doggybone DNA is helping to overcome existing industry bottlenecks and the challenges associated with plasmid DNA.”
Jean-Marc Limacher, chairman of Odimma Therapeutics, said: “The agreement between Odimma and Touchlight is an important step forward to secure Odimma’s clinical development. Not only is Touchlight’s technology producing genetic material with very favourable characteristics for a clinical use but also in a timeframe extremely adapted to a personalized immunotherapy in oncology.”