Vor Biopharma and Arbor Biotechnologies to Collaborate on Engineered Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Therapies

September 29, 2020   |   Press Releases

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., — September 29, 2020 — Vor Biopharma, an oncology company pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) for the treatment of cancer, and Arbor Biotechnologies, an early-stage life sciences company, today announced an agreement to use Arbor’s gene editing technologies to engineer hematopoietic stem cells, towards the goal of developing therapies for the treatment of blood cancers, such as acute myeloid leukemia.

“At Vor, we are committed to expanding our platform with best-in-class genome engineering technologies such that we can accomplish whatever edit to hematopoietic stem cells is necessary to protect cancer patients from experiencing on-target, off-tumor toxicity from targeted therapies after they receive a bone marrow transplant,” said Tirtha Chakraborty, PhD, Vor’s VP and Head of Research. “We believe this strategic collaboration with Arbor will allow us to leverage the potential of Arbor’s technologies for precisely editing the HSC genome to remove certain cell-surface proteins, thereby making targeted therapies even more cancer-specific and effective.”

The collaboration is non-exclusive and applies to pre-clinical research only. Further terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

“Arbor’s proprietary gene editing technologies can enable Vor’s approach to transform the field of targeted cancer therapies,” said David Cheng, CEO of Arbor. “We’re excited to collaborate with Vor to directly improve medical outcomes for patients.”

About Vor Biopharma

Vor Biopharma aims to transform the lives of cancer patients by pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cell (eHSC) therapies. By removing biologically redundant proteins from eHSCs, these cells become inherently invulnerable to complementary targeted therapies while tumor cells are left susceptible, thereby unleashing the potential of targeted therapies to benefit cancer patients in need.

Vor’s platform could be used to potentially change the treatment paradigm of both hematopoietic stem cell transplants and targeted therapies, such as antibody drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies and CAR-T cell treatments.

Vor is based in Cambridge, Mass. and has a broad intellectual property base, including in-licenses from Columbia University, where foundational work was conducted by inventor and Vor Scientific Board Chair Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil.

About VOR33

Vor’s lead product candidate, VOR33, consists of engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) that lack the protein CD33. Once these cells are transplanted into a cancer patient, we believe that CD33 will become a far more cancer-specific target, potentially avoiding toxicity to the normal blood and bone marrow associated with CD33-targeted therapies. Vor aims to improve the therapeutic window and effectiveness of CD33-targeted therapies, thereby potentially broadening the clinical benefit to patients suffering from acute myeloid leukemia.

About Arbor Biotechnologies

Arbor Biotechnologies is an early-stage company pushing the boundaries of discovery. Based in Cambridge, MA, Arbor is unlocking nature’s genetic diversity to create transformative therapeutic products. Arbor’s proprietary discovery platform has uncovered novel CRISPR enzymes that can power a wide range of applications.

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