DOYLESTOWN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IO Biosciences, Inc., announced today that it has been awarded its first patent for nucleic acid constructs comprising gene-editing multi-sites (GEMS) and their uses. This patent represents a departure from traditional viral gene editing methods and is ideally suited for multiple gene insertions allowing the production of complex proteins and gene-modified cell therapies (often used in the treatment of cancers). The GEMSTM technology streamlines manufacturing and reduces the time to market for therapeutic proteins and cancer-fighting gene-modified cell therapies.
Newly patented, GEMS™ technology is currently used to create stable antibody producing cell lines rapidly without using viral methods, saving significant cost and development time. In addition, GEMSTM can be used to develop off-the-shelf cell therapies in oncology using a universal cell, such as natural killer (NK) cells. “With our GEMSTM plug-and-play system integrated in universal cells, the resulting universal-GEMS cells can serve as a base for many therapies down the line,” explains Dr. Sicco Popma, Founder and CEO, IO Biosciences (iO BiO). “Putting our GEMS into a universal Natural Killer cell, for example, allows rapid and accurate subsequent insertion of various single or multiple chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) through its plug-and-play feature. This allows for manufacturing of multiple therapeutic cell lines with the only variable being the gene of interest.”
iO BiO has also harnessed its technology to develop its own immune cell therapies based on universal, stem cell-derived NK cells engineered to express CARs. The company is currently developing effective treatment for liver cancer with two licensed assets. “Because our technology allows the rapid development of new therapies, it is our intention to enhance the physician’s repertoire and increase access to life-saving cancer cell therapies for patients,” explains Dr. Popma. “Our GEMSTM eliminates random and off-target gene integration resulting in immediate stable cell lines, reducing time to market and, more importantly, reducing time to the patient – with our ultimate goal of saving more lives.”
About IO Biosciences, Inc.
Based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, IO Biosciences, Inc. (iO BiO), is dedicated to enabling the rapid development of simple and complex proteins as well as developing gene-modified cell therapies. The off-the-shelf Natural Killer cells fighting cancer are derived from a unique stem source and are engineered for flexibility, efficacy, and mass production. iO BiO is currently focused on hepatic oncology. With much broader application potential, its proprietary and patented GEMSTM platform is available for protein production services and licensing. Privately funded, iO BiO was founded in 2017 by Sicco H. Popma, PhD, and Yuta Lee, MBA. The company has raised more than $3 million to date and anticipates additional Series A funding in the first half of 2021.