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Pfizer and Touchlight have signed a patent license agreement for Pfizer to use Touchlight’s doggybone DNA (dbDNA) in the manufacture of mRNA vaccines, therapeutics, and gene therapies.
Touchlight, a biotechnology company specializing in enzymatic DNA production, entered into a non-exclusive patent license agreement with Pfizer on July 6, 2022. Under the agreement, Pfizer gains rights to Touchlight’s enzymatic doggybone DNA (dbDNA) patent portfolio. Pfizer will have rights to use dbDNA worldwide for the manufacture and commercialization of its messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines, therapeutics, and gene therapies.
Through the agreement, Touchlight will receive an upfront payment as well as clinical and commercial milestone payments and royalties upon commercialization. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Touchlight’s dbDNA technology has been shown to produce a minimal, linear, double stranded, covalently closed DNA vector via an enzymatic manufacturing process. dbDNA enables the rapid, synthetic manufacture of good manufacturing practice (GMP)-compliant DNA product from a small, simple footprint. Furthermore, it is a scalable GMP manufacturing process.
The technology can manufacture genes >20 kb. It also has the added advantage of being able to accommodate sequences typically unstable as plasmid DNA in Escherichia coli; these include sequences found in viral vector and mRNA production. Beyond mRNA vaccine production, the technology is suited for the development of DNA vaccines, advanced therapies, and other therapeutics, according to a company press release.
“We are delighted to establish this agreement with Pfizer to license our mRNA manufacturing platform. This agreement is an example of our technology’s potential to enable companies across the genetic medicine sector to simplify and accelerate DNA manufacturing through the clinic and towards commercialization,” said Jonny Ohlson, founder and executive chair, Touchlight, in the press release.