Twist, Kriya shake on antibody agreement

March 10, 2022

Twist Bioscience and Kriya Therapeutics are joining forces to discover new antibodies that could eventually be used to treat some types of cancers, the companies announced. 

Under the terms of the agreement, San Francisco-based Twist will contribute its synthetic DNA antibodies to Kriya’s adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy platform. 

The goal is to use vectorized antibodies to transform the treatment of serious diseases, particularly oncology. Twist brings its best-in-class antibody libraries and discovery expertise to the table, which will be paired with Kriya’s proprietary vector engineering platform, with the hope of advancing novel gene therapies.

Despite the widespread interest in AAV gene therapies, the U.S. FDA has raised safety concerns in the past over conditions ranging from liver toxicity to kidney damage to a loss of neurons. Last month, LogicBio was hit with a clinical hold from the FDA after two kids in a clinical trial were reported to have developed thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), which can present as microscopic blood clots, organ damage and low platelets. 

The two were participating in clinical trials studying the use of the drug LB-001 for treating a metabolic disorder called methylmalonic acidemia (MMA) which prevents the body from properly breaking down certain proteins and fats.

Other major adverse events occurred with Novartis’ drug for spinal muscular atrophy and Spark Therapeutics’ treatment for inherited retinal disease. The two therapies were investigated by the FDA following serious safety concerns and several patient deaths in previous clinical trials.