According to Ginkgo, the combined companies will allow it to offer a ‘one-stop shop’ service able to provide R&D services for gene therapy manufacturing across capsid, payload, and cell line optimization capabilities.
StrideBio also possesses an extensive discovery- and preclinical-stage portfolio of assets, with a number of these being developed alongside partners, including Sarepta Therapeutics and Takeda.
The company also has one solely-owned preclinical asset being explored for the treatment of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. The condition is a rare genetic heart disease in which the organ’s structure can become weakened.
Ginkgo stated that rather than develop the gene therapy, it will look to sell or outlicense the asset to a commercial partner.
Regarding StrideBio’s platform, Ginkgo stated that it has been designed to overcome current limitations of first-generation gene therapies, including reduced seroprevalence, improved tropism for cell types beyond the liver, including the central nervous system and muscle tissue, as well as increased gene transfer efficiency.
“Combining Ginkgo's engineering and discovery capabilities in enzymes, regulatory elements, and capsids enables a holistic approach to designing an AAV gene therapy, so that we can support our partners across the entire process of designing the viral vector,” said Narendra Maheshri, head of mammalian engineering at Ginkgo.
Maheshri will acquire a new staff member from the deal, as it was revealed that just one employee from StrideBio will make the switch to Ginkgo. The companies noted that this member would join Ginkgo’s mammalian engineering team.
The financials involved in the deal were not revealed as part of the announcement. However, the news arrives as one in a series of investments and partnerships that Ginkgo has made in recent times.
Earlier this month, the company partnered with Sensible Biotechnologies to develop an in vivo microbial mRNA manufacturing platform.
While last year, Ginkgo acquired both Circularis, which was a biotech company focused on proprietary circular RNA and promoter screening platform, and Zymergen. The latter deal represented Ginkgo’s largest acquisition to date, paying $300m (€275m), and noted that it would accelerate the development of its synthetic biology platform.