Cambridge, Mass. and Research Triangle Park, NC – November 16, 2020 – ElevateBio, a Cambridge-based cell and gene therapy holding company, and AgBiome, a leader in developing innovative products from the Earth's microbial communities, today announced that LifeEDIT Therapeutics has joined ElevateBio’s growing portfolio of therapeutic, technology and manufacturing companies. LifeEDIT Therapeutics combines a highly innovative genome editing platform, derived from AgBiome’s massive proprietary microbial library, with ElevateBio’s proven expertise in the discovery and development of new cell and gene therapies. LifeEDIT will continue to develop internal cell and gene therapies while further strengthening its platform of diverse genome-editing enzymes and provide gene editing expertise to strategic partners including ElevateBio portfolio companies. AgBiome retains rights for gene editing in agriculture, animal health, and diagnostics.
“Genome editing technologies have revolutionized the way we develop cell and gene therapies and regenerative medicines,” said Mitchell Finer, Ph.D., President, ElevateBio BaseCamp, and newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, LifeEDIT Therapeutics. “However, in order to realize the promise of, and democratize, these highly innovative therapeutic approaches, the field needs to access novel RNA-guided nucleases and base editors that offer greater specificity and broader genome coverage, which LifeEDIT can provide. LifeEDIT’s genome editing platform is one of the most versatile in the field and was the natural fit as we continue to build a world leading cell and gene therapy offering.”
Members of ElevateBio will join the newly formed LifeEDIT Therapeutics management team, which will continue to benefit from its existing visionary scientific leadership and research team.
The combined executive team will include:
• Mitchell Finer, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, LifeEDIT Therapeutics and President, ElevateBio BaseCamp
• Tedd Elich, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, LifeEDIT Therapeutics
• Kareem Reda, Chief Operating Officer, LifeEDIT Therapeutics and Chief Business Officer, ElevateBio
• Clare Murray, Vice President, Head of Corporate Development and Strategy, LifeEDIT Therapeutics
“Over the last 18 months we have built a truly unique platform of numerous RNA-guided nucleases with diverse PAM requirements, for which we’ve been able to show functional activity,” said Tedd Elich, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, LifeEDIT Therapeutics. “The wide range of gene editing enzymes across our platform increases our ability to target any genomic sequence of interest and will allow us to tackle some of the most challenging diseases, bringing desperately needed, potentially curative, therapies to patients in need.”
"AgBiome's GENESISTM platform is built on our microbial collection, their complete genome sequences, and our industry-best data science platform to identify new useful functions,” said Eric Ward Co-Chief Executive Officer, AgBiome. “This unique resource formed the basis for the many genome editing technologies that are now part of LifeEDIT Therapeutics. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the LifeEDIT team as they build a world-class pipeline of clinical candidates and bring a broad array of genome editing technologies to innovators across the biotechnology industry."
About Genome Editing and LifeEDIT Therapeutic’s Platform
Genome editing technologies have revolutionized the way cell and gene therapies and regenerative medicines are discovered and developed by allowing genetic material to be removed, added, or altered at specific locations in the genome. While these technologies are in widespread use experimentally, enzymes that offer broader coverage and greater specificity are needed for creating novel cell and gene therapies.
To meet the need for better genome editing approaches, LifeEDIT Therapeutics has built one of the world’s largest and most diverse arrays of novel RNA-guided nucleases (RGNs) and base editors that are active in mammalian cells. These RGNs were developed using AgBiome’s proprietary collection of more than 90,000 microbes and their complete genomes. LifeEDIT Therapeutics is investigating these proprietary RGNs, which are sourced exclusively from non-pathogenic organisms, to develop new gene editing tools with higher fidelity, novel functionality, reduced immune response risk, and easier delivery. LifeEDIT Therapeutics’ nuclease collection also has a broad range of Protospacer Adjacent Motifs (PAMs) – short sequences that must follow the targeted DNA sequence in order for the enzyme to make cuts – that offer unprecedented access to genomic loci of interest. The LifeEDIT Therapeutics’ RGNs offer flexible editing options which encompass knock-out and knock-in capabilities, transcriptional regulation, and base editing when coupled with its proprietary deaminases.
LifeEDIT Therapeutics’ next generation editing systems will propel the development of novel human therapeutics by enabling ex vivo engineering for cell therapies and regenerative medicines and in vivo delivery of gene therapies. In addition to developing its own pipeline of cell and gene therapies, LifeEDIT Therapeutics will continue to build its platform of novel nucleases, provide gene editing expertise to strategic partners and ElevateBio’s portfolio companies, and form other third-party partnerships to discover and develop new therapies.
ElevateBio, LLC, is a Cambridge-based creator and operator of a portfolio of innovative cell and gene therapy companies. It begins with an environment where scientific inventors can transform their visions for cell and gene therapies into reality for patients with devastating and life-threatening diseases. Working with leading academic researchers, medical centers, and corporate partners, ElevateBio’s team of scientists, drug developers, and company builders are creating a portfolio of therapeutics companies that are changing the face of cell and gene therapy and regenerative medicine. Core to ElevateBio’s vision is BaseCamp, a centralized state-of-the-art innovation and manufacturing center, providing fully integrated capabilities, including basic and translational research, process development, clinical development, cGMP manufacturing, and regulatory affairs across multiple cell and gene therapy and regenerative medicine technology platforms. ElevateBio portfolio companies, as well as select strategic partners, are supported by ElevateBio BaseCamp in the advancement of novel cell and gene therapies.
ElevateBio’s investors include F2 Ventures, MPM Capital, EcoR1 Capital, Redmile Group, Samsara BioCapital, The Invus Group, Emerson Collective, Surveyor Capital (A Citadel company), EDBI, and Vertex Ventures.
ElevateBio is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass, with ElevateBio BaseCamp located in Waltham, Mass. For more information, please visit www.elevate.bio.
AgBiome® partners with the microbial world to improve our planet. AgBiome discovers and develops innovative biological and trait products for crop protection. The proprietary GENESIS™ discovery platform efficiently captures diverse, unique microbes for agriculturally relevant applications, and screens them with industry-best assays for insect, disease, and nematode control. Through its commercial subsidiary, AgBiome develops and sells proprietary crop protection solutions. The first of these, Howler®, is a revolutionary fungicide for disease control in a broad variety of crops. AgBiome and Genective recently formed a strategic partnership to establish a new leader in insect traits, a market with over $5 billion in annual opportunities. AgBiome has a global R&D collaboration with Elanco Animal Health Incorporated (NYSE: ELAN), to develop nutritional health products for swine. AgBiome’s investors include Polaris Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Fidelity Investments Inc., UTIMCO, Pontifax AgTech, Innotech Advisors, Syngenta Ventures, Leaps by Bayer, and Novozymes. For more information, please visit www.agbiome.com.
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