Astellas and Dyno Therapeutics to develop AAV gene therapy vectors

Astellas and Dyno Therapeutics will develop adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for gene therapy directed to skeletal and cardiac muscle.

Business people shaking hands

Astellas Pharma and Dyno Therapeutics have announced an option and license agreement to develop next-generation adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for gene therapy directed to skeletal and cardiac muscle using Dyno’s CapsidMap platform.

Dyno’s CapsidMap platform represents a new approach applying in vivo experimental data and machine learning to create novel AAV capsids designed to optimise tissue targeting and immune-evading properties, in addition to improving packaging capacity and manufacturability. This research collaboration combines Dyno’s AI-powered AAV vector engineering capabilities with Astellas Gene Therapies global leadership in AAV-based pipeline assets.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dyno will design novel AAV capsids with improved functional properties for gene therapy, while Astellas will be responsible for conducting pre-clinical, clinical and commercialisation activities, including manufacturing, of gene therapy product candidates using the novel capsids.

Moreover, Dyno will receive an $18 million upfront payment and be eligible to receive additional payments during the research phase of the collaboration as well as clinical and sales milestone payments and royalties for any resulting products. The aggregate potential value of future milestone and royalty payments to Dyno exceeds $235 million per product and over $1.6 billion in total value.

“Through our efforts in gene therapy and the Astellas Gene Therapies Center of Excellence, Astellas strives to identify, develop and deliver transformative gene-based therapies for patients with genetic diseases who currently have few or no effective treatment options. Our principal focus is on developing AAV delivered therapies for the treatment of well-defined serious diseases,” commented Naoki Okamura, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Chief Business Officer at Astellas. “We are dedicated to delivering novel approaches and utilising new technologies that can deliver transformational value for patients.”

“We are so happy to be partnering with Astellas, a world leader in developing gene therapies. Dyno and Astellas each bring unique strengths to this collaboration, together enabling more rapid creation of new therapies for patients with great unmet need,” added Dyno’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Dr Eric Kelsic. “This partnership demonstrates the flexibility of Dyno’s platform to precisely design the delivery properties of gene therapy vectors towards multi-organ and disease-specific profiles, applying the scientific insights we are rapidly learning across all our partnered and internal vector engineering programmes using CapsidMap.”