Jura Bio Partners with Syena for TCR-Based Therapies and Secures Funding
Jura Bio, a drug development company founded by Elizabeth Wood, PhD, CEO, and Julie Norville, PhD, CSO, has announced a research collaboration with Syena, a subsidiary of genome writing company Replay, to develop T-cell receptor (TCR)-based therapies. The partnership aims to leverage Jura Bio’s expertise in machine learning (ML) and synthetic biology to discover antigen-specific TCRs at scale.
The success of Jura Bio’s ML-first workflow lies in its ability to build and train models from vast amounts of data. This approach enables the company to propose, build, and physically assay TCR candidates on a large scale. By combining ML and multiplex libraries, Jura Bio generates billions to trillions-fold of potential candidates, making their TCR discovery platform highly differentiated and in high demand.
Jura Bio’s technology has already yielded promising results in target discovery. For instance, when the company was sent sequences from six patients with melanoma refractory to MART-1 specific adoptive cell therapy, Jura Bio generated 300 candidate TCR sequences and identified 10 candidates for expansion and engineering. Additionally, Jura Bio has manufactured libraries of antigens to gain insights into the underlying mechanisms of autoimmunity.
To support its research endeavors, Jura Bio has secured $16.1 million in financing. The funding will be used to map the human adaptive immune system, with the goal of completing a predictive map of TCR-antigen-HLA interactions by the end of 2024. Jura Bio also plans to expand its gene synthesis capabilities into the design and discovery of B cell receptors.
Financial terms of the collaboration with Syena have not been disclosed, but Jura Bio will receive an upfront payment and research funding. If the option is exercised, Replay and Syena will have exclusive worldwide commercialization rights for all TCR-NK therapies resulting from the partnership.
Jura Bio’s partnership with Syena and the secured financing highlight the transformative potential of their TCR discovery platform. By harnessing the power of ML and synthetic biology, Jura Bio aims to develop safe and effective immune receptor libraries to identify TCRs recognizing challenging therapeutic targets, such as KRAS G12D.