Korean and Australian biotech firms collaborate to develop exosome-based therapies

VivaZome Therapeutics Pty Ltd (“VivaZome”) and ToolGen, Inc (“ToolGen”) have announced the execution of a collaborative research and option agreement to explore gene-editing of cells for enhanced exosome production. Under the agreement, ToolGen will use its CRISPR/Cas9 technology to introduce gene edits into selected cell types. The gene edits are aimed at selectively altering the content and characteristics of exosomes produced by the cells. The gene-edited cells and exosomes will be analysed by VivaZome via its Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)-P partner, La Trobe University.

CRISPR/Cas9 technology allows scientists to insert or delete genes with high efficiency and fidelity. ToolGen is a leading company in the gene editing field and holds CRISPR/Cas9-related patents and patent applications in multiple territories. The agreement includes an option for VivaZome to license ToolGen’s technology, as well as any IP arising from the research program, for the development and commercialisation of exosome products for human therapy.

VivaZome’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr David Haylock, stated: “VivaZome is very pleased to be able to access ToolGen’s experience, expertise and technology and apply it to the development of this exciting new class of therapeutics. The program with ToolGen is an ideal complement to the project in our CRC-P.”

Director of ToolGen, Dr Jae young Lee, added: “Exosomes have great therapeutic potential and the field of exosomes is growing rapidly. We look forward to working with the team at VivaZome to develop gene edited cells with the potential to enable and accelerate the development of exosomebased therapies.” CEO of ToolGen, Jongmoon Kim, commented: “This collaboration agreement with VivaZome further validates the value of our gene editing platform. We are very excited to expand our capabilities in this exciting field of research.”

Source – VivaZome Therapeutics

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