CatSci invests in oligonucleotides capability for rare diseases

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Oligonucleotides represent a broad class of different moieties, including microRNAs (pictured).    Image © Artur Plawgo / Getty Images
Oligonucleotides represent a broad class of different moieties, including microRNAs (pictured). Image © Artur Plawgo / Getty Images

Related tags microRNA Oligonucleotides Rare disease

Cardiff-based CatSci is investing in its oligonucleotides capability that will enable the company to make oligos from nanomole quantities up to 30 grams using solid phase synthesis.

Oligonucleotides are an emerging modality and an innovative technology offering new therapeutics opportunities to treat previously unmet patients’ needs. The molecules are traditionally used to treat rare diseases; they represent a broad class of different moieties, including microRNAs, small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs), antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) and aptamers.

With the growth of genomics providing detailed insights into the genetic basis of many diseases, it is now possible to identify sections of the gene that are amenable to interference by synthetic oligonucleotides. These new mechanisms have the potential to deliver new RNA medicines for previously undruggable targets.

CatSci’s investment will further accelerate the development and manufacture of these complex molecules.

The news follows on the heels of investment in the Welsh company from Keensight Capital this summer. In a news release at the time, Keensight noted: “CatSci enjoys consistently outstanding market and customer feedback, which is reflected in its strong 30-40% per annum historical growth trajectory.”

Cardiff site

CatSci stated that the capability investments will commence at its Cardiff site, led by Dr Nigel Richardson, CatSci’s Director of New Modalities. This investment will also allow CatSci to carry out unique and exciting research into new manufacturing approaches as they explore a new technology platform that aligns to their green chemistry commitments, said the company.

“I am thrilled that CatSci are investing into oligonucleotides; this is an exciting development and will allow us to offer even more to our customers and get even more life-changing medicines into the hands of patients in need,” ​said Dr Richardson.

“RNA medicines are greatly expanding and moving into more mainstream therapy areas, while they are also crucial for addressing unmet disease needs. I am excited to be able to offer our oligonucleotides capability to our customers while driving the paradigm shift needed for their manufacturing process, using our expertise and innovative multi-disciplinary solutions to combat patients’ needs.”

Dr Jerome Théobald, CatSci’s Chief Operating Officer, added: “It is great news for CatSci and our customers alike that CatSci are entering further into the oligonucleotide space. Our expert team will leverage their decades of CMC experience to speed up the development and delivery of oligonucleotide therapeutics that meet the requisite quality standards.

“I am excited for what the future holds; we will enhance our GMP capability to support our customers’ pre-clinical and clinical needs, while embarking on our journey to become a fully integrated partner for innovative medicines development. I am thrilled to be part of CatSci’s growth journey powered by Keensight’s continuous support.”



Related topics Clinical Development

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