The new company will allow accelerated commercial scalability of DNA vaccines in the aquaculture industry
London, England / Andermatt, Switzerland – 29 September 2020 – Touchlight Genetics LLC and Stonehaven Incubate AG have formed a new joint venture company, Touchlight Aquaculture LLC, to combine expertise, intellectual property and platform technology.
The new company will utilize Touchlight Genetics’ innovative DNA-based DoggyboneTM platform to develop new vaccine solutions, focused on providing solutions exclusively in the field of aquaculture. Touchlight’s technology provides a unique, synthetic DNA vector system in combination with an enzymatic process, allowing for larger scale commercial production, at a significantly lower cost.
DNA vaccines have the potential to enable cost-efficient, safe and more effective immunisation with shorter production timelines, improving availability. DNA vaccines have already been shown to be safe and effective with approvals already granted for veterinary use. However, these have shown some limitations in terms of commercial scalability, which resulted in limited widespread adoption.
Stonehaven Incubate is the only global business incubator focused on identifying cutting edge technologies developed to improve human health and creating stand-alone companies to apply those for animal health.
Touchlight is a biotechnology company which concentrates on the discovery and development of human DNA-based genetic medicines. The company’s technology has the potential to revolutionise the production and utilisation of DNA-based assets across multiple therapeutic areas, and this is their first application in the veterinary field.
Dr. Mark Heffernan CEO of Stonehaven Incubate, said: “We are delighted to be working with an established and proven leader in DNA vaccine technologies, and now applying this in a field seeking innovation and advancement. Aquaculture has a critical role in addressing the protein gap created by the rapidly expanding global population, which is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. With a large percentage of global fish stock lost to infectious disease annually, there is growing awareness of the need for more cost-effective vaccine options.” Dr. Heffernan also noted, “Touchlight Aquaculture will be at the forefront in disease prevention in this high growth industry that is strategically very important to us at Stonehaven Incubate.”
Jonny Ohlson, CEO of Touchlight, said: “There has never been greater need to deploy effective vaccines at global scale, whether in humans or in animals. DNA vaccines are the future thanks to their potential to enable efficient and safe immunisation on a large scale. We are excited to use our technology to support the aquaculture sector, and with Stonehaven Incubate we have a partner with proven expertise in animal health.”
Touchlight is a privately-owned biotechnology company based in London, U.K., focused on the discovery and development of DNA-based genetic medicines, including DNA vaccines and gene therapies. Touchlight has developed a novel, synthetic DNA vector knowns as “doggybone” or dbDNATM. dbDNATM is a minimal, linear, covalently closed structure, that eliminates bacterial sequences. Touchlight’s revolutionary enzymatic production platform enables unprecedented speed, scale, and the ability to target genes with a size and complexity that is impossible with current technologies. Touchlight is applying dbDNA across advances therapeutic modalities, both in-house and with partners. The company also provides contract manufacturing capabilities to produce dbDNA as critical starting material for advanced therapy production through its manufacturing arm, Touchlight DNA Services. For more information visit: www.touchlight.com
About Stonehaven Incubate
Swiss based Stonehaven Incubate was formed in February 2018 and is a dedicated, animal health group committed to creating new companies de novo from disruptive human technology. Stonehaven Incubate works with innovators and builds strategies for new, stand-alone animal health companies. It finds experienced management teams and sources the required capital, leaving no stone unturned in its quest to bring human innovations to animal health. For more information visit: www.stonehaven-incubate.com
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