Athebio, founded in 2019 and based in Schlieren, enables its partners to develop next-generation therapeutics based on leading-edge designed ankyrin repeat protein (DARPin) technology. The company has announced a first research agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Athebio will provide select Athebody DARPins from its proprietary library to REGENXBIO, which intends to utilize the DARPins as elements of novel AAV (adeno-associated virus) vectors targeted to an undisclosed, cell-specific receptor. REGENXBIO may option the selected Athebody DARPins for a commercial license for development of potential gene therapy candidates. In exchange, Athebio will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, research funding fees, and has the potential to receive milestones, as well as royalties on net sales.
“As a leader in the field of AAV-mediated gene therapy, REGENXBIO perfectly matches with Athebio's pioneering mindset,” said Patrik Forrer, one of the inventors of the DARPin technology and CEO and Chairman at Athebio. “Our mission is to make our proprietary Athebody DARPin Platform accessible to our partners, and provide them with tailor-made binding domains and access to our in-depth repeat protein expertise. The small size, excellent intracellular expression, and high specificity make Athebody DARPins excellent candidates to enable novel, targeted AAV vectors.”
Athebio was founded by an experienced team. Patrik Forrer co-founded Molecular Partners to commercialize DARPins and served the company as the initial chairman of the board of directors and in various other functions until 2018. Christian Jost, responsible for business development and science, is a former senior scientist at Roche-Glycart. Lukas Wallacher, responsible for business development and operations, is a former founder of a digital start-up and business model innovation consultant at BMI Lab, Zurich/St. Gallen.
(Press release / SK)