Roche has signed a collaborative agreement with Dyno Therapeutics for the development of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for gene therapies for central nervous system (CNS) disease and liver-directed therapies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dyno will design novel AAV capsids with improved functional properties for gene therapies, while Roche and its subsidiary Spark Therapeutics will be responsible for preclinical, clinical and commercialisation activities for gene therapy product candidates using the novel capsids.

Roche will pay Dyno an undisclosed upfront payment, as well as additional payments during the research phase of the collaboration.

In addition, Dyno is eligible to receive clinical and sales milestone payments and royalties for any resulting products, with all of these payments potentially exceeding $1.8bn.

Dyno’s CapsidMap platform is used to identify novel AAV capsids – the cell-targeting protein shell of viral vectors – optimising tissue targeting and immune-evading properties, in addition to improving packaging capacity and manufacturability.

“We strongly believe in the potential of gene therapy and are excited to bring together experts from Roche, Spark and Dyno to develop next-generation gene therapies,” said James Sabry, head of Roche Pharma Partnering.

“Dyno’s innovative AI-powered approach to designing optimized AAV vectors will further complement and build on our progress in gene therapy. We look forward to leveraging Dyno’s technology to develop new, innovative treatments for patients across CNS and liver-directed therapies,” he added.