1218 Sangamo podcast
BioCentury & Getty Images

Product Development

Sangamo’s Macrae on where the gene editing field is headed: a BioCentury audio interview

A conversation with Sangamo CEO Sandy Macrae on delivery, adjacencies and partnering in gene editing

Dec 18, 2020 | 11:54 PM GMT

Gene-editing assets may be the next additions to big pharma shopping lists as gene therapies are now becoming core modalities alongside small molecules and mAbs, according to Sandy Macrae, who anticipates a gene editing consolidation in the coming years. 

Macrae, who joined Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:SGMO) as president and CEO in 2016, discussed his view of the challenges and opportunities in gene editing in a BioCentury This Week – Special Edition audio interview.

He views systemic delivery — a problem common across gene editing technologies and other new modalities — as one of the biggest challenges, but told BioCentury the field is building the momentum needed to solve it. 

There has been a surge in new company creation around gene editing technologies, and many of those companies focus on delivery, he said, with the goal of translating the technology from a tool for creating cell therapies to a systemic therapy capable of curing genetic diseases. 

Many spinout companies and academic labs are working on ways to deliver gene editing therapies to specific cells, he said. “It might not be as exciting and sexy as evidence of editing, but those are the things I pay most attention to. Those are the most important for this whole adventure,” Macrae added. “If we talk in 10 years’ time, this will be solved.”

Macrae also sees opportunity to expand the technologies into new applications through acquisition of adjacent technologies. 

For example, Sangamo partnered with the Kite Pharma Inc. unit of Gilead Science Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) to develop gene-edited CAR T cell therapies in 2018, and acquired TxCell S.A. to create Treg cell therapies the same year. 

As the problems are solved, the technologies are advanced and the clinical candidates collect validation, he anticipates a shift in the competitive landscape.

Many biotechs and pharmas have become comfortable with gene therapies, but they haven’t yet embraced editing, Macrae said, calling the gene editing technologies the next frontier. “In the next two-to-five years, you will see them acquiring editing companies.”

A transcript of the interview follows.

[00:00:00] Lauren Martz: Hello and welcome to BioCentury this Week — Special Edition. I'm Lauren

Read the full 3836 word article

How to gain access

Continue reading with a
two-week free trial.