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Sigilon Therapeutics and MIT Announce Research Collaboration to Advance Programmable Living Therapeutics for Serious Chronic Diseases
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — January 7, 2019 — Sigilon Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops Shielded Living Therapeutics, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today announced a strategic research collaboration. The collaboration leverages cutting-edge synthetic biology approaches developed by professor Ron Weiss of the MIT Synthetic Biology Center, an internationally recognized leader in the field of synthetic biology. This alliance will further advance Sigilon’s development of programmable cell therapeutics for hemophilia, lysosomal storage diseases and other serious chronic diseases — building upon foundational research from the laboratories of professors Robert Langer and Dan Anderson at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, a pioneering center for collaborative, interdisciplinary research.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Weiss lab will perform chromosomal site-specific engineering of Sigilon’s proprietary cells to insert genetic circuits encoding therapeutic proteins. Specifically, the collaboration will include employing state-of-the-art Landing Pad technology developed by the Weiss lab, a novel approach which allows for controllable and reproducible insertion of large amounts of synthetic DNA into stable genomic sites that support long-term gene expression. This sophisticated cell engineering will enable the development of the next generation of novel programmed Shielded Living Therapeutics.
“This powerful alliance with MIT will provide Sigilon access to best-in-class methods for in vivo delivery of therapeutic proteins, enabling our Shielded Living Therapeutics product platform to address an even broader range of chronic diseases,” said David Moller, M.D., chief scientific officer of Sigilon.
“We’re gratified to be able to apply our Landing Pad technology toward creating new therapeutics for patients with serious chronic diseases,” said Ron Weiss, Ph.D., professor of biological engineering at MIT and affiliate member of the Koch Institute. “This collaboration will further our work to utilize programmable cell circuits in biomedical therapies and beyond.”
About Sigilon Therapeutics
Sigilon Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company creating functional cures for chronic diseases using Shielded Living Therapeutics. To create Shielded Living Therapeutics, we engineer novel human cells that we encase in a proprietary immune-shielding matrix and place in the body. These Shielded Living Therapeutics then produce therapeutic proteins in a programmable and durable fashion, without generating fibrosis or immune rejection. Sigilon was founded and created by Flagship Pioneering in conjunction with Daniel Anderson, Ph.D., and Robert Langer, Sc.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
About the MIT Synthetic Biology Center
The MIT Synthetic Biology Center is based in the Department of Biological Engineering. The SBC Faculty are appointed in numerous departments throughout the Institute. The goal of synthetic biology is to make the design and construction of novel biological systems into a practical and useful professional engineering discipline. Key to this development is a methodology based on systems biology theory and the use of modular, standardized and well-characterized interchangeable genetic parts. The range of potential applications for synthetic biology is significant, and encompasses diagnostics, therapeutics, sensors, environmental remediation, energy, water, food, and other biomolecular and chemical manufacturing outputs. Synthetic biology may also provide insight into fundamental biological principles and improve our quantitative understanding of the living world. The mission of the MIT SBC is to develop and advance the engineering discipline for this emerging field, and to train its future leaders.
Ten Bridge Communications
Daniel J. Darling
MIT Biological Engineering Department