In August 2023 Gritstone bio and Genevant Sciences announced an agreement through which Gritstone will be able to develop and commercialise self-amplifying RNA (samRNA) vaccines using Genevant’s lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology on a pathogen-by-pathogen basis. The deal follows “multiple” successful prior collaborations between the two companies.  

Under the terms of the agreement, Genevant is eligible to receive option maintenance and exercise fees, up to $136 million in contingent milestone payments per product, and royalties on future product sales. Furthermore, if Griststone outlicenses an applicable infectious disease programme, Genevant may be entitled to a percentage of amounts received by Gritstone from its sublicensee.  

Technology leaders 

Genevant states that “scientific leadership” has driven the LNP nucleic acid delivery for over 20 years. The technology provides “optimal uptake” into cells and “efficient release”. The LNP platform enables a “wide array” of mRNA-based applications, including vaccines. Dr Pete Lutwyche, President and CEO of Genevant, commented that the “key role” this technology has played, and will continue to play, in the development of “important medical advances” has been a focus for the company’s scientists.  

“As leaders in the field, we are thrilled to build upon our relationship with Gritstone to pursue new and better approaches to combat infectious disease.” 

Also quoted in the joint statement is Dr Andrew Allen, Co-founder, President, and CEO of Gritstone bio. He highlighted “previous collaborations” between the companies, which have “demonstrated the powerful potential of combining the strengths of two technology leaders”. The company is “pleased” to develop the relationship further through this most recent agreement.  

“With the established complementarity between our samRNA technology and Genevant’s LNP technology, evident in clinical datasets in both oncology and infectious disease, we are now even better position to capitalise on the emergence of RNA vaccines and therapeutics to address a broader array of infectious diseases.”  

We were glad to speak to Dr Allen for an interview at the World Vaccine Congress in April. Click here to check out his insights and learn more about Gritstone’s work.  

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