CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dyno Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company applying artificial intelligence (AI) to gene therapy, today announced the company’s launch from stealth mode with its proprietary platform, CapsidMap™. The platform enables the design of novel Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) vectors that significantly improve upon current approaches to gene therapy and expand the scope of accessible diseases. Through its R&D and collaborations with biopharmaceutical companies, Dyno has active programs focused on novel gene therapy vectors for ophthalmic, muscle, central nervous system (CNS), and liver diseases. The company could potentially receive well over $2 billion in upfront payments, research support, option fees, as well as pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones under its collaboration agreements.
“At Dyno, we see a vast opportunity to expand the treatment landscape for gene therapies. The success of gene therapy relies on the ability of vectors to safely and precisely deliver a gene to the intended target cells and tissues,” said Eric Kelsic, Ph.D., CEO and Co-founder of Dyno Therapeutics. “Our approach addresses the major limitations of naturally occurring AAV vectors and creates optimized, disease-specific vectors for gene therapies with great curative potential. Our portfolio of R&D programs and newly-announced collaborations with leading gene therapy developers reflect the applicability of our AI-powered approach to improve treatments for patients and expand the number of treatable diseases with gene therapies.”
Dyno’s technology platform builds on certain intellectual property developed in the lab of George Church, Ph.D., who is Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a Core Faculty member at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Several of the technical breakthroughs that enable Dyno’s approach to AAV capsid engineering were described in a November 2019 publication in the journal Science, based on work conducted by the company’s founders and members of the Church Lab at HMS and the Wyss Institute. Dyno has an exclusive option to enter into a license agreement with Harvard University for this technology. Church is a co-founder of Dyno and Chairman of the company’s Scientific Advisory Board.
The CapsidMap platform applies Dyno’s proprietary artificial intelligence technology to discover and design novel AAV capsids, the cell-targeting protein shell of viral vectors. CapsidMap systematically generates and then evaluates millions of new AAV variants at an unprecedented scale, dramatically accelerating the identification of improved AAV vectors. CapsidMap uses advanced machine learning search algorithms, combined with high-throughput experiments generating massive quantities of in vivo data, to accelerate the creation of superior synthetic AAV capsids.
The company launched in late 2018 with a $9 million financing co-led by Polaris Partners and CRV. Alan Crane, a co-founder of Dyno and Entrepreneur Partner at Polaris Partners, and Dylan Morris, General Partner at CRV, have joined Dyno’s board of directors, with Alan Crane serving as Dyno’s Executive Chairman. Dyno does not anticipate the need for additional fundraising at this time based on the significant financial resources made available from collaborations.
Alan Crane stated, “We invested in Dyno because we believe that the company’s platform represents a paradigm shift in the development of gene therapies. Gene therapies have the potential to cure diseases that are not adequately treated by existing small molecule and antibody therapeutics. As an industry, we often know which genes we want to administer for treatment, but we can’t effectively get them to the target tissues and cell types. AAV capsids with improved tropism, immunogenicity, packaging size, and manufacturing features will expand treatments to more patients.”
Dyno is building a multi-disciplinary team of experts in business, gene therapy, and machine learning. In addition to Eric Kelsic, George Church, and Alan Crane, the company’s founders include Sam Sinai, Ph.D., Lead Machine Learning Scientist, Adrian Veres, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor, and Tomas Bjorklund, Ph.D., a scientific advisor of Dyno who is Associate Professor at Lund University and a leader in AAV capsid engineering.
About CapsidMap™ for Designing AAV Gene Therapies
By designing capsids that confer improved functional properties to Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) vectors, Dyno’s proprietary CapsidMap™ platform overcomes the limitations of today’s gene therapies on the market and in development. Today’s treatments are primarily confined to a small number of naturally occurring AAV vectors that are limited by delivery, immunity, packaging size, and manufacturing challenges. CapsidMap uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology for the design of novel capsids, the cell-targeting protein shell of viral vectors. The CapsidMap platform applies leading-edge DNA library synthesis and next generation DNA sequencing to measure in vivo gene delivery properties in high throughput. At the core of CapsidMap are advanced search algorithms leveraging machine learning and Dyno’s massive quantities of experimental data, that together build a comprehensive map of sequence space and thereby accelerate the discovery and optimization of synthetic AAV capsids.
About Dyno Therapeutics
Dyno Therapeutics is a pioneer in applying artificial intelligence (AI) and quantitative high-throughput in vivo experimentation to gene therapy. The company’s proprietary CapsidMap™ platform is designed to rapidly discover and systematically optimize superior Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) capsid vectors with delivery properties that significantly improve upon current approaches to gene therapy and expand the range of diseases treatable with gene therapies. Dyno was founded in 2018 by experienced biotech entrepreneurs and leading scientists in the fields of gene therapy and machine learning. The company is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Visit www.dynotx.com for additional information.