Gritstone and Genevant Sciences Announce License Agreement for COVID-19 Vaccine
— Deal provides nonexclusive access to Genevant’s leading LNP technology for use in Gritstone’s self-amplifying RNA COVID-19 vaccine program; NIH-sponsored Phase 1 clinical trial expected
to initiate in 1Q21 —
— Agreement is the second between the parties since October 2020 —
EMERYVILLE, Calif. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia and BASEL, Switzerland , Jan. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gritstone Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: GRTS), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing the next generation of cancer and infectious disease immunotherapies, and Genevant Sciences, a leading nucleic acid delivery company with world-class platforms and the industry’s most robust and expansive lipid nanoparticle (LNP) patent estate, today announced an agreement pursuant to which Gritstone has obtained a nonexclusive license to Genevant’s LNP technology to develop and commercialize self-amplifying RNA (SAM) vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Genevant’s LNP platform is clinically validated and part of Gritstone’s SAM neoantigen-based cancer immunotherapy now in Phase 2 testing.
“We are pleased to extend our longstanding and productive collaboration with the Genevant team to include our newly launched COVID-19 program,” said Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Gritstone. “As we continue to see new strains of SARS-CoV-2 emerge, we identified an opportunity to apply our key strengths to an innovative COVID-19 vaccine. Specifically, extending the antigenic content of a COVID-19 vaccine beyond Spike alone may open up a route to clinical protection even if Spike mutations reduce antibody binding. We believe our approach could make an important impact on COVID-19 by eliciting robust neutralizing antibody responses and plentiful anti-viral CD8+ T cells to both Spike and other key viral antigens.”
“Optimized LNP characteristics can provide substantial advantages in safety, efficacy and pharmaceutical profiles, and Genevant scientists have been leaders in the field for two decades,” said Pete Lutwyche, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Genevant Sciences Corporation. “We are delighted to be able to expand our existing relationship with Gritstone to combine our industry-leading LNP technology with its innovative approach to help eliminate COVID-19.”