Agilis Biotherapeutics has become the third company this month to partner with Intrexon to gain access to its synthetic biology technologies to advance product development. In a deal announced today, Agilis and Intrexon will focus on developing innovative DNA-based therapeutics to treat Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA).
Previous collaborations announced earlier this month focused on better hair and skin (a partnership with Johnson & Johnson Innovation and J&J Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide) and infertility (a partnership with OvaScience to improve in vitro fertilization).
Agilis will utilize Intrexon's UltraVector® platform and RheoSwitch Therapeutic System® (RTS®) to develop gene therapies and genetically modified cell therapies. The partners planned approach to target FRDA will employ RTS®, an inducible gene switch technology that regulates the expression of therapeutic proteins or bioactive RNA in a dose-dependent fashion.
The ultimate goal of this collaboration is to develop therapeutics to repair or replace the "broken" gene in FRDA and enable increased production of the frataxin protein to alleviate the downstream effects of frataxin deficiency, according to the firms. Agilis also has an option to advance a second undisclosed rare disease indication.
Earlier this month, Intrexon acquired Medistem for $26 million.