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Sanofi and SIRION collaborate on AAV vector development to treat serious diseases

Published on 24/02/21 at 12:23pm
sanofi research and development building

SIRION Biotech and Sanofi have entered into an agreement to develop effective medicines for illnesses impacting major human organs.

The two companies will develop improved tissue-selective adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to realise effective gene therapy treatments. 

AAV vectors are a clinically validated gene-delivery platform for the potential treatment of a variety of human diseases. They work by replacing viral DNA with new DNA, so it becomes a precisely coded vector rather than a virus.

Sanofi and SIRION will combine forces with Professor Dirk Grimm from Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany, a world-renowned scientist in the field of AAV biology, to integrate their existing platforms to develop the next generation of AAV vectors.

Dr Christian Mueller, Global Head of Genomic Medicine at Sanofi, said: “This partnership adds to our expanding toolbox of technologies in the important, emerging area of gene therapeutics.

“Leveraging our expertise in virus-based vaccine and viral vector manufacturing, together with Prof Grimm’s cutting-edge AAV capsid evolution technology and SIRION’s expertise and capabilities in AAV vector manufacturing, will allow us to better address unmet medical needs and open new frontiers for drug discovery in genomic medicine.”

The goal of the research is to create modified AAV capsids that exhibit a safe product profile, with improved specificity and higher gene-delivery efficiency.

SIRION’s expertise is in evolving novel therapeutic viral vectors and using proprietary technology platforms, based on lenti-, adeno-, and adeno-associated viruses, to accelerate its partners’ advances in drug development.

Christian Thirion PhD, CEO and Co‑founder of SIRION, commented: “Sanofi is an ideal partner with decades-long experience in treating a multitude of disorders and exploring viral vectors as a therapeutic modality.

"AAV vectors with improved efficacy can enable quickly entering into clinical trials with efficient, safe low doses, and scalable therapeutic candidates, and can expand the impact of gene therapies.” 

Sabine Ott, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Licensing at SIRION, added: “We believe that through this exclusive partnership with Sanofi within these large disease fields, AAV-based gene therapies will provide novel treatment options to many millions of patients worldwide suffering from these diseases.”

Jack Goddard

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