2022, March 31
Ring Therapeutics Announces Publication Highlighting the Immune Favorability of Commensal Anelloviruses
– First description of new, comprehensive anellovirus antibody analysis tool, AnelloScan –
– Cross-sectional study supports that anelloviruses are associated with weaker immune responses compared with other viruses –
– Longitudinal study shows transmitted anelloviruses tend not to elicit a strong antibody response –
Cambridge, Mass. – March 31, 2022 – Ring Therapeutics, a life sciences company founded by Flagship Pioneering to revolutionize gene therapy with its commensal virome platform, today announced a pre-print publication in bioRxiv on the first comprehensive examination in humans of anellovirus-specific antibody responses. The study highlights the immune favorability of anelloviruses, underscoring the potential of Ring’s AnellogyTM platform to harness the unique biology of commensal anelloviruses for engineering the next generation of redosable viral vectors, AnelloVector™ therapeutics.
“Pre-existing immunity and induced immunity to viral vectors remain major hurdles in the gene therapy space. In fact, almost half of patients have pre-existing neutralizing antibodies to AAV viral vectors that preclude them from receiving gene therapies,” said Tuyen Ong, MD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer at Ring and CEO-Partner at Flagship Pioneering. “As demonstrated here, the apparent low immunogenicity of natural anelloviruses is a key intrinsic characteristic that may translate to the safety and efficacy of AnelloVector™ therapeutics. Their immune stealth potentially enables redosing, one of the key characteristics of an ideal viral vector for gene therapies. We are looking forward to building on these key findings with further data on anellovirus immunology over the coming months to support the Anellogy™ platform’s ability to address the major limitations of current genetic medicines.”
In the study, researchers from the Laboratory of Precision Immunology at Johns Hopkins Medicine (under study lead investigator Ben Larman, Ph.D.) and Ring evaluated antibody responses to anelloviruses, utilizing serum samples from blood transfusion donors and recipients followed up to 270 days. They developed an assay to comprehensively profile antibodies to all known human anelloviruses, a diverse group of commensal viruses present in most people. Utilizing a newly designed “AnelloScan” assay, which is based on a technique known as bacteriophage display, over 32,000 peptides derived from >800 anellovirus genomes were tested on serum antibodies from 156 individuals. Findings revealed that most anellovirus peptides were not associated with an antibody response in any subject tested. Longitudinal analysis on a blood-transfusion donor(s)-recipient cohort also showed that most anelloviruses transmitted from the donor elicited no antibody response detectable using AnelloScan, and those that did, only elicited a delayed, weak response. Notably, antibody responses were not found to correlate with viral abundance, age, sex or chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
About Ring Therapeutics
Ring Therapeutics is revolutionizing the gene therapy and nucleic acid medicine space by harnessing the most abundant and diverse member of the human commensal virome, anelloviruses. The company developed the Anellogy™ platform which focuses on anelloviruses to potentially treat a broad range of diseases. Through harnessing the unique properties of these commensal viruses, the Anellogy™ platform generates diverse vectors that exhibit both tissue-specific tropism and the potential to be redosed. Partnered with Flagship Pioneering, Ring Therapeutics aims to develop and further expand its portfolio through leveraging its platform to unlock the full potential of gene therapy and nucleic acid medicines, enabling a variety of mechanisms that successfully deliver therapeutic cargo to unreachable organs and tissues. To learn more, visit https://ringtx.com or follow us on Twitter at @Ring_tx.
Ring Therapeutics Media:
Brittany Leigh, Ph.D.