We could uncover and use commensal viruses to deliver nucleic acid therapeutics safely and repeatedly?
That these naturally occurring commensal viruses are a rich source of novel viruses that Ring Therapeutics can harness to unlock the full potential of gene therapy.
Founded in 2017 by Flagship Labs, Flagship’s innovation foundry, Ring Therapeutics is developing first-in-class gene therapies, Anellovector™ therapies, using a novel viral vector platform based on its groundbreaking work on the human commensal virome. For many years, the promise of gene therapy has been stymied by limited breadth, an inability to redose, and poor tolerability. Ring’s novel approach can revolutionize the field—making these challenges a thing of the past and unlocking the full potential of gene therapy.
A Powerful and Intrinsic Biology
The human commensal virome is a collection of recently uncovered DNA sequences of viral origin that exist as episomal DNA, alongside the 23 chromosomes of the human genome. This human extrachromosomal genome is intrinsic to human biology; highly prevalent in the population, ubiquitous throughout the body, persistent and non-pathogenic. Current viral gene therapy platforms (such as adeno-associated virus) may be ineffective in some patients because they often induce a strong immune response that prevents administration and redosing. Ring has discovered thousands of commensal viruses throughout the human body that coexist with our immune system. The company plans to use here viruses to generate a wide array of tissue-targeted, redosable vectors for gene therapy, exponentially expanding the boundaries of DNA therapeutics.
"With Ring, we are truly forging new ground by pioneering an entirely new category of gene therapy based on nature," says Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, and co-founder and chairman of Ring Therapeutics.
Anellovector™ Platform: A Pioneering Platform
Led by Ring’s founding CEO and Flagship Pioneering Partner Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., and founding head of innovation and Flagship Senior Associate Erica Weinstein, Ph.D., a team of entrepreneurial scientists discovered thousands of anelloviruses in a diverse set of tissues, and uncovered their unique biology. With this understanding, Ring is developing Anellovector therapeutics that leverage the inherent properties of the commensal virome to address significant unmet medical needs.
"We believe that Anellovector therapeutics represent the future of gene therapy and more broadly DNA medicines," says Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., partner at Flagship Pioneering and founding CEO of Ring Therapeutics. "The underlying biology of the commensal virome, its diversity, and the fact that it has co-evolved with us over millennia, gives us a revolutionary new insight from which we can develop safe and efficacious medicines using our proprietary platform."
Over two years, Ring has put together a discovery and development platform and is now building a rich portfolio of therapeutic candidates that take advantage of the ability of Anellovector therapeutics to (i) overcome pre-existing immunological barriers, (ii) target sites of disease with cellular and tissue specificity, and (iii) redose patients as required. The company is targeting several therapeutic areas – including genetic disorders, ophthalmology, oncology, metabolic disorders, hematology, CNS disorders, and inflammatory diseases.
About Ring Therapeutics
Ring Therapeutics is a multi-product platform company focused on discovering and developing Anellovector™ therapeutics to unlock the full potential of gene therapy. Founded by Flagship Pioneering, Ring is pioneering the first redosable and targetable gene therapy platform by harnessing the biology of the human commensal virome. The company is expanding the applications of gene therapy beyond gene replacement, enabling a much wider array of modalities and mechanisms to treat previously inaccessible diseases. For more information, please visit www.ringtx.com.