SparingVision sells ex vivo GIRK technology to Tenpoint Therapeutics
- SparingVision remains focused on in vivo genomic medicines, with SPVN20, a GIRK-based gene therapy candidate, expected to reach clinical stage in 2024
- SparingVision to receive equity, milestone payments, and royalties
Paris, July 12, 2023 – SparingVision (“the Company”), a clinical-stage genomic medicine company developing vision-saving treatments for ocular diseases, today announces that it has sold its ex vivo GIRK technology to Tenpoint Therapeutics (“Tenpoint”).
SparingVision obtained its GIRK technology in April 2021 through the acquisition of GAMUT Therapeutics (“GAMUT”), which had developed a portfolio of products around GIRK to restore visual function in dormant cones. The acquisition added SparingVision’s second breakthrough product SPVN20 to its leading genomic medicines pipeline.
SparingVision’s core focus is on in vivo technologies and since the acquisition of GAMUT it has looked to capitalize on the potential of its ex-vivo GIRK technology. Together with the historical GAMUT shareholders, including the venture capital firm AdBio Partners, SparingVision spun these assets into a separate company called GAMUT Cell Therapeutics (“GCT”) in 2021. Under the terms of the agreement, Tenpoint has acquired GCT gaining exclusive clinical and commercial rights to the ex vivo application of the GIRK technology. In return, SparingVision becomes a minority shareholder in Tenpoint and will receive milestone payments and royalties.
GIRK technology is based on the work of Deniz Dalkara, PhD and Olivier Goureau PhD, from Institut de la Vision in Paris. SPVN20, encoding for a variant of GIRK, is an AAV vector-based product uniquely positioned to restore visual acuity and color vision in patients with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa and other inherited retinal diseases (IRDs). SPVN20 is currently undergoing IND-enabling studies with a clinical trial submission expected in early 2024.
Stéphane Boissel, President and Chief Executive Officer of SparingVision, said: “We believe that the GIRK technology has tremendous potential and this transaction with Tenpoint will help advance the development of the ex vivo GIRK technology as we remain wholly focused on our in vivo strategy. SPVN20 is an AAV gene therapy based on an IVT-permissive capsid, which aims to restore visual acuity and color vision in late-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients with dormant cones, independently of the causative genetic mutation. We look forward to advancing SPVN20 into the clinic in 2024 and we look forward to seeing seeing Tenpoint grow from strength to strength.”
GIRK: G protein-coupled inwardly-rectifying potassium channel