The agreement – financial terms of which were not provide – gives Lonza rights to license the synthetic vectors – known as Anc-AAVs – and to provide them to customers.
The firm will also fund development of next generation vectors by Luk Vandenberghe, assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Grousbeck Gene Therapy Center at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
Massachusetts Eye and Ear retains certain commercial and academic rights, including the ability to commercialize self-directed gene therapy programs and all rights in the challenging space of ultra-rare diseases.
Commercial scale production
The most advanced vector is Anc80. Under the deal Lonza will develop commercial scale production processes for Anc80 and future vectors.
The Swiss life sciences firm will undertake the work at the facility it is building in Pearland, Texas, which is due to become operational next year.
Marc Funk, Lonza’s pharma and biotech COO, said: “This strategic licensing deal with Massachusetts Eye and Ear emphasizes Lonza’s strong commitment to the field of gene therapy and our continuous quest for improving patients’ lives.
“Drawing on our licensing expertise, we will be able to leverage our experience as the leading global AAV manufacturer in our broad range of service offerings.”