ALACHUA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lacerta Therapeutics, a leader in the development of adeno-associated virus (AAV) technologies for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, today announced a new AAV capsid licensing and research collaboration agreement with Prevail Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company. The collaboration will focus on the discovery and development of novel AAV capsids for CNS diseases.
“We are eager to initiate this exciting collaborative work with our new partners at Prevail. The goal is to broaden the AAV medicines cabinet by improving the safety, potency, and manufacturability of novel AAV capsid variants for CNS indications,” said Edgardo Rodriguez-Lebron, Chief Executive Officer of Lacerta Therapeutics. “With this agreement, Lacerta gains its third clinical and commercial partner as we continue to push towards our shared goal of improving the life of patients with intractable neurodegenerative diseases.”
As a part of the collaboration, Prevail will receive rights to utilize one of Lacerta’s novel AAV capsids for select undisclosed CNS targets. In addition, Lacerta’s proprietary AAV capsid platform will be utilized to discover and develop novel AAV capsids that are optimized to target desired CNS tissues and cell types. The collaboration will leverage Lacerta’s established expertise in AAV technologies and Prevail’s development and clinical capabilities, with the goal of accelerating development of gene therapies for patients with neurodegenerative disorders.
“We are excited to be collaborating with Lacerta on the discovery of novel AAV capsids with improved CNS delivery to advance the development of new medicines by Prevail and the Lilly Institute for Genetic Medicine,” said Mansuo Shannon, Chief Scientific Officer of Prevail Therapeutics. “We believe this will allow us to move promising therapeutics more quickly to the clinic to study novel genetic medicines for diseases with high unmet need.”
Lacerta will lead capsid discovery, screening, and validation, while Prevail will complete preclinical and Investigational New Drug-enabling studies with therapeutic payloads. Prevail will be responsible for all manufacturing, clinical development, and commercialization. Under the terms of the agreement, Lacerta will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible for development and commercial milestones, as well as tiered royalties on future net sales of products that incorporate capsids covered under the collaboration. Lilly will also provide Lacerta with new financing under the terms of a convertible promissory note agreement.
About Lacerta Therapeutics
Lacerta Therapeutics is a fully-integrated gene therapy company that is focused on leveraging its proprietary capsid technology and scalable manufacturing platforms to advance adeno-associated virus (AAV) based therapies via three primary approaches: gene replacement, gene modulation and novel vectorization of antibodies.