PRESS RELEASE | Hampton, UK / Basel, Switzerland, March 01, 2022
Touchlight and Versameb announce GMP manufacturing supply agreement
- Versameb moves forward with its lead asset towards clinical development with an Innovative synthetic doggybone DNA technology which increases quality and yield of mRNA therapeutics production
Touchlight, a biotechnology company pioneering enzymatic DNA production to enable the genetic medicine revolution, today announces a development and manufacturing pipeline agreement with Versameb AG, an innovative pre-clinical stage company focused on discovering and developing ground-breaking RNA-based therapeutics.
The agreement enables Versameb to use Touchlight’s proprietary doggybone DNA (dbDNA™) vector technology to support the development of novel mRNA-based therapeutics addressing unmet needs in urology and oncology. This includes Versameb’s lead candidate VMB-100, a potentially first-in-class regenerative treatment for Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), which is expected to enter clinical development in the second half of 2022.
Versameb’s proprietary VERSagile platform can both enhance the effectiveness of RNA and target multiple proteins simultaneously within a single molecule. Versameb will use Touchlight’s dbDNA technology for manufacturing and clinical supply of VMB-100 and other future pipeline products.
Touchlight’s dbDNA is a minimal, linear, double stranded, covalently closed DNA vector which is produced through an enzymatic manufacturing process. It can accommodate genes of interest of more than 20kb and is linearly scalable, making it highly adaptable to support a range of genetic medicines.
Karen Fallen, CEO, Touchlight DNA Services commented: “We are delighted to be supporting the experienced team at Versameb on the development of its product portfolio. dbDNA has shown superior yield and genetic stability compared to conventional plasmid methods in mRNA production as well as faster GMP manufacturing. Our advanced vector technology and enzymatic process will support the tremendous growth of mRNA technology as well as enabling other plasmid DNA reliant technologies to deliver beyond what is possible with current methods.
“Genetic medicine has proven its potential and is now expected to become a key element in the toolbox of healthcare professionals. However, manufacturing processes also have to evolve, in order to overcome existing bottlenecks. Innovations, such as dbDNA, will be crucial for the advancement of the industry.”
Klaas Zuideveld, CEO of Versameb, said: “We are excited to be driving the necessary activities to take our lead asset to the clinic in the shortest possible timeframe. Working with a company such as Touchlight and to utilise dbDNA as a starting material for the production of our mRNA therapeutics assures a production process which is innovative and gives a competitive advantage. The high stability, quality and speed offered by synthetic replication of DNA, the starting material for mRNA, plays as key role in the production of Versameb’s proprietary biologically optimized VERSagile mRNA pipeline.”
Touchlight is a privately-owned company based in London, U.K., focused on the provision of DNA services and manufacture of enzymatically produced novel DNA formats, such as doggybone DNA (dbDNA™) to enable the development of genetic medicines. Touchlight DNA Services provide rapid, enzymatic DNA development and manufacturing for all advanced therapy production, including mRNA, viral and non-viral gene therapy and DNA API.
dbDNA is a minimal, linear, covalently closed structure, which eliminates bacterial sequences. Touchlight’s revolutionary enzymatic production platform enables unprecedented speed, scale, and the ability to target genes with a size and complexity that is impossible with current technologies.
Clients can be supported from pre-clinical through development and supply, to licencing and tech transfer for use in-house.
Versameb AG is a privately held company focusing on discovering and developing innovative RNA-based drugs for modulation of protein expression and cellular targeting, including the ability to simultaneously influence several therapeutic targets, in a controlled manner, with a single molecular construct. Based in Basel, Switzerland and fully operational from 2018, the company is led by an experienced scientific and leadership team with proven expertise in drug discovery and development from lab bench to patient. Versameb’s proprietary technology platform, VERSagile, optimizes the application of functional RNA in different disease contexts – making RNA druggable in new therapeutic areas others have been unable to solve. The pipeline includes lead candidate programs in Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) and solid tumors. Versameb is working towards the completion of a first in-human/proof-of-concept clinical study while advancing its platform. More information on Versameb can be found at www.versameb.com as well as on LinkedIn.
Contact for media enquiries:
Dr Klaas Zuideveld, CEO
Optimum Strategic Communications
Mary Clark, Zoe Bolt
Tel: +44 (0)20 3882 9621