Indispensability creates industry leaders. BioViva’s CMV gene delivery system does what other vectors cannot.
Current vectors provide scanty palettes and frayed brushes to prospective gene therapists, keeping the lion’s share of use cases outside their reach.
Gene therapy’s full potential can only be unleashed through large and redosable vectors like BioViva’s CMV.
It will be impossible to tackle complex diseases without large vectors. These are the most common and costly health issues in the developed world: Alzheimer’s, cancer, renal diseases, COPD, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and, of course, aging itself.
Gene therapy is most closely associated with simple and rare monogenic disorders. As this has been its historical niche (and is assumed to remain its only role), estimates about the industry’s growth potential need to be drastically overhauled.
While projections are optimistic, they don’t begin to grasp how pervasive gene therapy will become within the next ten years.
Also, what made California’s first millionaire? Forget about that for now, we’ll get back to that later.
A product allegedly needs to be ten times better than its closest competitor to set a new standard. Given the difficulty of quantifying quality in many areas, we’ll take this as a rule of thumb — and a hyperbolic one at that.
But in this instance, CMV is more than ten times better than the alternatives. They barely touch the iceberg’s tip. They are just too small to address the overwhelming majority of health issues.
Yet it doesn’t end with its size. Here are eight reasons BioViva’s CMV gene delivery platform will be the foundation of the gene therapy industry.
- Redosable: Over the course of your lifetime, which we hope will be long, you will need more than one gene therapy. Some, like BioViva’s BV-208 and 902 are potent. However, even therapeutics formulated to address an array of issues by tackling fundamental processes, are not enough to fully and indefinitely stave off all infirmity.
- Carrying capacity: CMV can carry more genes and more genetic information. The full implications of this are vast, but here it bears repeating: current vectors can only address a minute swathe of all medical conditions. They can only ever hope to capture a minuscule market share. Personalized medicine is a megatrend, and CMV is here to make it a reality.
- Room for bulky regulatory elements: Sometimes it’s not enough to just boost or slash the production of a protein. Regulatory elements like promoters and enhancers modulate gene expression. This allows for more precise control, timing, and tissue specificity, as well as safety features like inducible expression systems and self-inactivation mechanisms.
- High transduction efficiency: CMV can effectively deliver therapeutic genes with high transduction efficiency. This is especially advantageous when tackling generally unreceptive targets.
- Quality, consistency, and cost-efficiency: Manufacturing one vector is more straightforward than making dozens. Fewer steps leads to less unwanted variation–the bane of consistent quality. Large gene delivery vectors tend to have improved stability during production, storage, and delivery.
- Broad Tropism: CMV has a broad tropism, meaning it can effectively deliver its contents to different organs and tissue types. This versatility makes it invaluable in research and clinical settings.
- Stealthy: We want our immune systems to attack viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, but we don’t want them to attack our vectors.
- Strong promoter: The CMV promoter is known for its strong and immediate-early expression, leading to high levels of gene expression upon transduction. This is crucial for therapeutic strategies that require robust and sustained expression.
Lessons from the 49ers
Anyway, how did California’s first millionaire strike it rich?
It was from the gold rush, but it was not from panning for shiny rocks.
Samuel Brannan is best remembered for founding the California Star. While he was the first to widely publicize the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, Brannan did not hurl his entrepreneurial energies into its extraction.
The state welcomed 300,000 prospectors over the next four years. A few struck it rich, but most didn’t. Nevertheless, the odd success story stoked the frenzy, which famously reached its peak one year into the stampede — 1849.
For Brannan luck and prudence were on his side. He had opened a store at Sutter’s Fort in 1847. It was the only shop between Sacramento and San Francisco.
Many miners came without picks, axes, or pans. They needed food and, as their old ones became ragged, new clothes. While less glamorous than sparkling metals, providing these products is what minted California’s first millionaire.
No matter the fate of a gene therapy product, whether it flourishes or falls flat during clinical trials, the vector manufacturer prospers. Vectors are universally needed: research institutes, colleges, biotech startups, pharmaceutical conglomerates, and, most of all, you, me, and everyone else on the planet.
CMV has been used with success in many areas, from cancer to malaria to aging (Zeng, 2023). BioViva has already successfully extended the healthspans and median lifespans of mice with its CMV vector (Jaijyan, 2022).
The market for just one gene therapy, like BioViva’s BV-702 for dementia, can be massive. However, the market for vectors is immense, and will only grow as gene therapy continues to find more uses.
CMV is the only viable option for the treatment of complex diseases with gene therapy.
Again, while rosy, current growth estimates are rooted in naive extrapolations of the past. This is because these analysts are not biotechnologists and, for some reason, have not bothered to consult any — though, in all fairness, even some in the know are oblivious to the power of an expanded payload.
BioViva’s CMV gene delivery platform will be the beginning of a new era of untethered creativity in a field that will endlessly augment and uplift human potential.
Authored by Adam Alonzi
References and Suggested Reading
Abdelaziz, Mohammed O., et al. “Development of a human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-based therapeutic cancer vaccine uncovers a previously unsuspected viral block of MHC class I antigen presentation.” Frontiers in Immunology 10 (2019): 1776. Link
“Cell and Gene Therapy Market Size to Expand USD 93.78 Bn by 2030.” BioSpace, BioSpace, 23 Dec. 2022, www.biospace.com/article/cell-and-gene-therapy-market-size-to-expand-usd-93-78-bn-by-2030/.
Gbedande, Komi, et al. “Boosting Live Malaria Vaccine with Cytomegalovirus Vector Can Prolong Immunity through Innate and Adaptive Mechanisms.” bioRxiv (2023): 2023–05. Link
Jaijyan, Dabbu Kumar, et al. “New intranasal and injectable gene therapy for healthy life extension.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119.20 (2022): e2121499119. Link
Méndez, Andrea C., Cristina Rodríguez-Rojas, and Margarita Del Val. “Vaccine vectors: the bright side of cytomegalovirus.” Medical microbiology and immunology 208.3–4 (2019): 349–363. Link
Wong, Chi Heem, et al. Estimating the financial impact of gene therapy in the US. No. w28628. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2021. Link
Zeng, Janine, et al. “Exploring the Potential of Cytomegalovirus-Based Vectors: A Review.” Viruses 15.10 (2023): 2043. Link