Viral vector tech nets Targeted save

Genzyme last week aided in the rescue of Targeted Genetics, a developer of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector technology. AAV is a naturally occurring virus unassociated with disease in humans. AAV-based vectors can deliver genetic information to many cell types and can be engineered to carry various DNA sequences. 

The ailing drug developer has engineered a proprietary manufacturing process based on the technology used in producing monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic proteins. It boasts patents related to the preparation, manufacture and purification of its AAV vectors. Both IP and manufacturing equipment are included in the Genzyme deal.

Targeted Genetics uses 100-liter bioreactors for manufacturing, in a process that can be scaled to commercial level, the company says. It has provided contract manufacturing services to other drug makers in the past.

Under the $7-million deal, Targeted Genetics will help Genzyme with the technology turnover, which it expects to be complete by year's end. Genzyme will also pay royalties for sales of associated products and for sublicensing. Targeted Genetics, for its part, is licensing the technology back from Genzyme for use in its established AAV gene-therapy programs for a type of blindness, inflammatory arthritis, and Huntington's disease.

- here's the announcement
- read our earlier coverage from this month and June