SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Abintus Bio, Inc. (Abintus), a biotechnology company pioneering first-in-class, in vivo genetic medicines that engineer cells directly inside the body, today announced that Lior Nissim, Ph.D., has joined the company as Head of Synthetic Biology. In this role, Dr. Nissim will be responsible for leading Abintus’ synthetic biology program to enable the advancement of products with tunable, cell-type specific therapeutic gene expression.
In connection with Dr. Nissim’s appointment and for his innovative synthetic biology platforms, Abintus has entered a research and option agreement with The Hebrew University’s Tech Transfer Company, Yissum.
“For in vivo genetic medicines to have a profound impact, they will require a safe and well-tolerated gene delivery vehicle, functional gene expression, and GMP manufacturing that can scale to meet the patient need,” said Lior Nissim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Head of Biomedical Synthetic Biology group at the Hebrew University and Head of Synthetic Biology at Abintus. “Adding next-generation synthetic biology capabilities to Abintus’ clinically proven gene delivery technology and commercial scale manufacturing process completes the critical requirements to enable successful development of in vivo genetic medicines that require cell-selective gene expression. I am very excited to join the Abintus team and advance a new era of genetic medicines that leverage the power of synthetic biology.”
The collaboration is focused on the discovery and optimization of a portfolio of next-generation rationally engineered gene circuits for controlled expression of therapeutic genes in specific target cells of interest. These circuits complement Abintus’ existing proprietary technologies including:
- Next generation gene delivery vehicle that has 9kb of cargo capacity and established clinical safety and tolerability with single or repeat intravenous administration.
- Commercial scale manufacturing process yielding products with high purity and titer, and low immunogenicity for intravenous use.
- Clinically proven deactivation switch to modify gene expression.
"Lior brings an outstanding track record of pioneering advances in the field of synthetic biology and the speed and scale of his research is being amplified by Hebrew University’s innovation powerhouse, Yissum," said Derek Ostertag, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer. "Given his understanding of the challenges faced in the development of novel gene circuits that can meet strict performance criteria for translation into genetic medicines, his decision to join Abintus makes a strong statement about our ability to incorporate best-in-class biological engineering into products that can be translated into genetic medicines."
Dr. Nissim is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of synthetic biology and has developed several novel biological engineering platforms for biomedical applications, combining multidisciplinary training in biology, biophysics, and synthetic biology. As part of his Ph.D. work, Dr. Nissim pioneered the very first engineered gene circuit for precise targeting of cancer cells. In his postdoc training, his team developed advanced synthetic RNA-based gene circuits for cancer immunotherapy, a high-throughput screening approach for identifying Synthetic Promoters with Enhanced Cell-State Specificity (SPECS), an integrated RNA and CRISPR/Cas gene regulation toolkit, and Synthetic Circuit-Driven Expression of Heterologous Enzymes for Disease Detection. Currently, his group is focused on developing advanced technologies that enable cell-state specific gene expression. These technologies are enabling the advancement of next-generation cancer therapies, antiviral vaccines, and other biotechnology innovations. He completed his postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he also received his Ph.D. in synthetic biology. Prior to that, he accomplished his M.Sc. at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he performed basic cancer research.
Yissum is the technology transfer company of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Founded in 1964, it serves as a bridge between cutting-edge academic research and a global community of entrepreneurs, investors, and industry. Yissum’s mission is to benefit society by converting extraordinary innovations and transformational technologies into commercial solutions that address our most urgent global challenges. Yissum has registered over 11,000 patents globally; licensed over 1,140 technologies and has spun out more than 200 companies. Yissum’s business partners span the globe and include companies such as Boston Scientific, ICL, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis and many more. www.yissum.co.il
About Abintus Bio, Inc.
Driven by the founding vision of Empowering patients from within, Abintus is developing novel, off-the-shelf genetic medicines that engineer cells directly inside the body to improve patient outcomes and access. These therapies are based on Abintus’ clinically proven, in vivo gene delivery technologies that have the potential to engineer a range of cell types in the body for the treatment of numerous diseases. Abintus' initial funding syndicate included Takeda Ventures and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Therapy Acceleration Program® (LLS TAP). Abintus Bio, Inc. (“Abintus”) is headquartered in San Diego. www.abintusbio.com.