- AAV Manufacturing Partnership to Advance Eikonoklastes’ Novel Gene Therapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
CINCINNATI and COLUMBUS, Ohio – November 29, 2022 – Eikonoklastes Therapeutics, a preclinical biotech company developing treatments for today’s most challenging diseases, and Forge Biologics, a gene therapy-focused contract development and manufacturing organization, today announced a manufacturing partnership that will advance Eikonoklastes’ AAV-based gene therapy, ET-101, into clinical trials for the treatment of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Forge will provide adeno-associated viral (AAV) process development and manufacturing services for ET-101. Eikonoklastes will utilize Forge’s platform process including its proprietary HEK 293 suspension Ignition™ Cells and pEMBR™ adenovirus helper plasmid. All development and AAV manufacturing activities will occur at the Hearth, Forge’s 200,000 square foot gene therapy facility in Columbus, Ohio.
“Eikonoklastes is conducting promising research into treating patients with ALS, and we are honored to work together with them during this critical phase of development to help ET-101 enter clinical trials,” said Timothy J. Miller, Ph.D., CEO, President, and Co-Founder of Forge Biologics. “Our primary goal is to deliver the AAV resources, scale, technology, and expertise for our partners to help patients living with diseases like ALS with no known cure.”
ALS is a rare neurological disease with significant socioeconomic impact, whose patients are desperate for novel, safe and effective therapies. ALS is the lead indication for Eikonoklastes’ ET-101, which has just received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA—an important regulatory milestone reflecting the compelling data underlying the ET-101 program and its potential as a first-in-class treatment option for both familial and sporadic ALS.
“We are excited to advance ET-101, our novel treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, towards a first-in-human clinical trial in ALS patients. Partnering our AAV manufacturing with Forge will further our ability to advance into clinical trials,” said Bruce Halpryn, Ph.D., Chair, CEO, and Co-Founder of Eikonoklastes Therapeutics. “With their end-to-end platform supporting AAV therapies, Forge is accelerating our development to reach patients suffering from ALS.”
About Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a rare, progressive, debilitating, and universally fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting the motor neurons connecting the brain and spinal cord. Degeneration of these neurons leads to paralysis as the brain loses its ability to control muscle movement. Most people with ALS succumb to respiratory failure, usually within three to five years from when symptoms first appear. An estimated 10 percent of ALS is familial and caused by genetic mutations that are inherited. The 90%+ of sporadic ALS may be due to a combination of environment and genetic risk factors. There is currently no cure for either familial or sporadic ALS.
About Eikonoklastes Therapeutics
Eikonoklastes Therapeutics is a preclinical biotech company rapidly developing a pipeline of disruptive new treatments for today’s most challenging diseases. The company’s 1st-in-class gene therapy (ET-101) has been engineered to overexpress Caveolin-1, which organizes and regulates synaptic receptors essential for neuromuscular signaling and function. Eikonoklastes is also advancing a new generation of tissue factor (TF) therapies (ET-201) for the treatment of Triple Negative Breast Cancer and other oncology indications. To learn more, visit www.eikonoklastes.com.
About Forge Biologics
Forge Biologics is a hybrid gene therapy contract manufacturing and clinical-stage therapeutics development company. Forge’s mission is to enable access to life changing gene therapies and help bring them from idea to reality. Forge’s 200,000 square foot facility utilizes 20 cGMP suites in Columbus, Ohio, the Hearth, to serve as its headquarters. The Hearth is a custom-designed cGMP facility dedicated to AAV manufacturing and hosts scalable, end-to-end manufacturing services. Offerings include process and analytical development, plasmid DNA manufacturing, viral vector manufacturing, final fill, as well as regulatory consulting support to accelerate gene therapy programs from preclinical through clinical and commercial stage manufacturing. By taking a patients-first approach, Forge aims to accelerate the timelines of these transformative medicines for those who need them the most. To learn more, visit www.forgebiologics.com.
Samuel Lee – Eikonoklastes Therapeutics
President and Chief Business Officer
Marina Corleto – Forge Biologics
Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications