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5:44 AM
 | 
Mar 21, 2019
 |  BC Innovations  |  Emerging Company Profile

A Passage to optimal CNS vectors

Passage uses James Wilson’s AAV vectors, gene therapies targeting the CNS

Passage is arming itself with AAV vectors, gene therapies and non-human primate studies from gene therapy pioneer James Wilson at UPenn to develop disease-modifying treatments for rare monogenic diseases affecting the CNS. The company launched last month with a $115.5 million series A round led by OrbiMed Advisors.

Passage Bio Inc. co-founder and interim CEO Stephen Squinto told BioCentury that most other companies in the CNS gene therapy space use adeno-associated viral (AAV) serotype 9 (AAV9) vectors because of their tropism for the nervous system. Squinto is also a venture partner at OrbiMed.

By contrast, Squinto said Passage chooses an AAV vector and a route of administration for each of its products based on tests Wilson conducts in non-human primates. While expensive and thus rarely used, non-human primates are ideal for...

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