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GEN News Highlights : Jul 17, 2013

AskBio, Genzyme Ink Gene Therapy Cross-Licensing Agreement

Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio) this week said it had entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement, through which the firm is granting Genzyme rights to its Duplex gene therapy vector technology.

AskBio said its technology enables a gene therapy adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector “to package and deliver more potent therapeutic DNA cargo to a patient's cells.” Genzyme will be using the Duplex technology for internal product development.

Additionally, Genzyme is granting AskBio rights to its Intra-Strand Base-Pairing technology, which the firm will use to support the packaging of DNA within an AAV-based gene therapy vector.

“The rights obtained from Genzyme by AskBio strengthen and broaden the basis with which AskBio may continue its use and sublicense of Duplex vectors for internal clinical development, as well as external partnerships and collaborations,” AskBio said.

Financial terms of this cross-licensing deal were not disclosed.

"We appreciate the collaborative approach with which both companies entered into this cross-license, and believe it broadly strengthens the value potential for future advancements within the field of AAV gene therapy,” AskBio vp Jade Samulski said in a statement. “This cross-license with Genzyme represents our ninth license of the Duplex vectors, and further validates AskBio's platform of vector technologies, and their significance and potential for future patient benefit.”

Added Sam Wadsworth, head of gene therapy R&D at Genzyme: “We believe our efforts will be enhanced through AskBio's technology, as we continue to pursue targeted solutions to address unmet medical needs.”