• Agreement covers the development and manufacturing of AAV vectors, a key step for Sensorion’s gene therapy programs
• Agreement secures drug product development and manufacturing capacity for the Company’s Otoferlin program
• Gene therapy could revolutionize the treatment of genetic inner ear disorders
Sensorion (FR0012596468 – ALSEN) a pioneering clinical-stage biotechnology company which specializes in the development of novel therapies to restore, treat and prevent within the field of hearing loss disorders, and Novasep, a leading supplier of services and technologies for the life sciences industry, announce the signature of an agreement for the manufacturing of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. The agreement covers the gene therapy program targeting OTOF (OTOF-GT), the gene encoding the otoferlin protein. Mutations in OTOF lead to severe or profound congenital hearing loss.
Sensorion is currently advancing two preclinical gene therapy programs conducted under a broad multi-program research partnership with the Genetics and Physiology of Hearing Unit at Institut Pasteur (Paris). OTOF-GT, the most advanced program, aims to restore the expression of Otoferlin in the inner hair cells of the ear where it plays an essential role in hearing.
Under the terms of the agreement, Novasep will be in charge of developing and manufacturing (cell culture, AAV expression, purification, aseptic distribution and quality control) the two AAV vectors designed for the Sensorion OTOF-GT project and will supply Drug Product batches to support preclinical and clinical studies.
“Securing state-of-the-art research and development capabilities and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) capacity, like those offered by Novasep, is a key step and underlines the progress of our Otoferlin gene therapy program,” said Nawal Ouzren, CEO of Sensorion. “Earlier this year, we announced the first positive preliminary preclinical OTOF-GT data in non-human primates.”
“We are delighted and proud to contribute to the progress of Sensorion’s innovative gene therapy programs targeting OTOF. Through this agreement, Novasep’s expertise in the field of viral vector development and manufacturing is once again recognized and valued” said Cedric Volanti, Novasep’s President of Biopharma Solutions.
Sensorion is a pioneering clinical-stage biotech company, which specializes in the development of novel therapies to restore, treat and prevent within the field of hearing loss disorders. Its clinical-stage portfolio includes one Phase 2 product: SENS-401 (Arazasetron) for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Sensorion has built a unique R&D technology platform to expand its understanding of the pathophysiology and etiology of inner ear related diseases enabling it to select the best targets and modalities for drug candidates. The Company is also working on the identification of biomarkers to improve diagnosis of these underserved illnesses. In the second half of 2019, Sensorion launched two preclinical gene therapy programs aimed at correcting hereditary monogenic forms of deafness including Usher Type 1 and deafness caused by a mutation of the gene encoding for Otoferlin. The Company is potentially uniquely placed, through its platforms and pipeline of potential therapeutics, to make a lasting positive impact on hundreds of thousands of people with inner ear related disorders, a significant global unmet medical need.
Novasep provides cost-effective and sustainable manufacturing solutions for the life sciences industries.
For 20 years, Novasep has acquired experience in developing and manufacturing a wide range of viral vectors through its sites in Belgium: AAV, Adenovirus, Lentivirus, HSV, VEEV, VSV…, for cell & gene therapy, immunotherapy, vaccination and other therapies from process development to cGMP production.
Novasep also offers Fill & Finish services for viral vectors, attenuated and live viruses, mAbs, plasmids and other biologics, from formulation to packaging.
As part of its growth strategy Rise-2, Novasep recently unveiled a new facility, Senrise-IV, dedicated to the commercial production of viral vectors which has been completed last year by Senefill, a new Fill & Finish commercial facility for aseptic operations. Both facilities located in Seneffe, Belgium, will contribute to the success of biopharmaceuticals’ projects.