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Launch of novel gene therapy company, VectorY, to develop innovative vectorized antibodies

Forbion, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm, today announces the launch of VectorY, a fully integrated gene therapy company focused on the development of innovative vectorized antibodies for muscular and neurodegenerative disorders. The Company has been operational since October 2020 and has established laboratories and offices at the Amsterdam Science Park.

VectorY develops proprietary and partnered programs based on a novel AAV platform and innovative antibody-based targeted degradation technologies. The Company is creating a pipeline of innovative vectorized antibodies targeting muscular and CNS diseases, aimed at overcoming limitations of current therapies, improving delivery, durability and accessibility of targeted tissues and cells. These novel viral vectors will have enhanced properties of non-immunogenicity, cell type specificity and expression in selected sub-cellular compartments, thus unlocking new treatment opportunities in these disease areas.

This year the Company is setting up its own state-of-the-art GMP manufacturing facilities in Amsterdam. Its technology platform will be developed for scalability and yield, with the aim of significantly lowering the costs of gene therapies.

VectorY has already negotiated its first corporate collaboration agreement, gaining access to a highly relevant neuro-inflammation target to develop a vectorized antibody therapy for treatment of neurological disorders. VectorY will continue to consider further collaborations in parallel to progressing its proprietary programs.

The highly experienced management team will be led by Marco Boorsma, General Partner at Forbion, who is joining as Interim CEO, bringing a proven track record of building and leading biotech companies. Co-founders Carlo Incerti, Pavlina Konstantinova, Anthony Newcombe and Barbara Sanders all bring significant, longstanding experience in gene therapy, vector development, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing expertise. Carlo Incerti, Operating Partner at Forbion and previously Chief Medical Officer of Sanofi Genzyme, will join VectorY’s board as Chairman, together with Sander Slootweg, Managing Partner at Forbion, as board member. Forbion’s principal Dmitrij Hristodorov will join as Observer to the board.

VectorY was seeded by Forbion, following previous investments in successful gene vector companies including bluebird bio (then named Genetix), Biovex, Hookipa, EnGene, Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics, uniQure and Replimune.

Carlo Incerti, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of VectorY, and Operating Partner at Forbion, said:
“I have been working in the gene therapy field for over 30 years, and, from experience, know that accurately targeting the right cells with the transgene has always been of paramount importance. Using viral vectors developed at VectorY to deliver the genetic sequence for therapeutic antibody expression in target cells has the potential to address some of the key shortcomings of intravenously injected molecules. Our aim is to create novel treatments for patients.“

Marco Boorsma, Interim CEO of VectorY, said:
“VectorY is developing innovative technologies to create novel, potentiated vectorized antibodies that will target muscle and CNS disorders with substantial unmet medical needs. Our aim is to bring new, powerful treatments to patients suffering from serious diseases. The Company is hitting the ground running, capitalizing on the extensive experience of its co-founders, and the support and expertise from Forbion as longstanding gene therapy investor.”

Source: Forbion (Press release)