CNS + Neuromuscular
We entered into a collaboration with Ionis in July 2021 to explore the development of nucleic acid therapeutics using our TfR1-based precision guidance technology.
This collaboration is exploring whether Bicycles can be conjugated to and deliver oligonucleotide therapeutics successfully into various tissues and deliver gene knockdown.
TfR1 is a well-characterized mechanism used to deliver non-CNS-penetrant molecules into the brain. It is also a high capacitance receptor used by all cells, especially muscle tissue, which has a high iron requirement, to deliver iron into cells. This provided an opportunity to adapt the transferrin receptor (TfR1) technology for a different application, namely the delivery of antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) cargos to skeletal and cardiac muscle and the central nervous system. Following an evaluation of the technology under a paid evaluation and option agreement – where it was shown in a pre-clinical assay that a TfR1 Bicycle-mediated delivery system delivered a ten-fold improvement over untargeted antisense alone – Ionis entered into an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement for tissue-targeted delivery of oligonucleotide therapeutics using Bicycles with high affinity to TfR1 in July 2021.
Under the agreement, Ionis and Bicycle will collaborate to develop a pipeline of oligonucleotide therapeutic product candidates delivered using the tissue-targeting TfR1 Bicycle technology, while Bicycle retains the rights to use TfR1 Bicycles for all non-oligonucleotide therapeutic purposes. Bicycle is eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments and royalties for each program developed under the collaboration.