SEC Filings

10-K
AUDENTES THERAPEUTICS, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/13/2017
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Table of Contents

 

Proprietary know-how and capabilities. Our proprietary manufacturing capabilities provide a major core strategic advantage, including better control over the cost and timelines of developing our product candidates, superior protection of novel inventions and intellectual property, and expanded possibilities for new programs and partnerships.

 

Broad network. We believe our strong relationships with key opinion leaders and patient advocacy groups will support our product development efforts and our potential for future commercial success. Leveraging our collaborations with these parties allows us to better understand the diseases we target and optimize our research, clinical development and commercial plans.

Gene Therapy Background

Genes are composed of sequences of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, which code for proteins that perform a broad range of physiologic functions within all living organisms. DNA is a large, highly charged molecule that is difficult to transport across a cell membrane and deliver to the nucleus, where it can be transcribed and translated into protein.

Gene therapy is a therapeutic approach to treating genetic diseases caused by mutations in DNA. For gene therapy to work, an isolated gene sequence or segment of DNA needs to be delivered efficiently to the desired target tissues and cell types. The treatment involves the administration of a functional gene to produce normal protein within a patient’s cells, offering the potential for durable therapeutic benefit. To achieve these goals, scientists have designed and developed a variety of viral vectors to facilitate gene delivery in cells.

Our Approach

The AAV gene therapy vectors we utilize are capable of transducing a wide range of tissues with generally little or no toxicity and only mild immune response. Functionally, AAV packages a single-stranded linear DNA genome that can be engineered to contain a therapeutic gene in place of all the virus genes. AAV vectors have a well-established safety profile and do not naturally propagate by themselves in the absence of another viral infection, reducing the likelihood of inappropriate viral spread following administration. As a result, AAV vectors are emerging as the preferred delivery vehicle for gene therapy.

Our vector design strategy includes careful selection of the vector capsid (the outer protein shell) and sophisticated engineering of the vector genome (the therapeutic DNA expression cassette) to target the correct tissues and improve the potential to provide patients with meaningful and durable outcomes. Optimal selection of capsids can reduce immune responses that attenuate the function of AAV vectors, and enable more robust trafficking to the specific tissues we care about for each disease. The vector genome is composed of multiple structural elements, including the gene coding sequence and the promoter, which drives expression of the gene. We use the latest available technology to engineer the vector genome to direct the target cells to make the desired protein at the appropriate level necessary to achieve a therapeutic effect for the longest period possible. We believe the product candidates we have created offer distinct advantages for our indications due to their selectivity for target tissue types and focused expression of the desired protein.

Our Product Candidate and Target Indication Selection Criteria

Our business model is to develop and commercialize a broad portfolio of gene therapy product candidates to treat rare diseases. We use a focused set of criteria to select product candidates that we believe have the best chance of success. These criteria include:

 

Serious, life-threatening rare diseases with high unmet medical need. We target orphan indications where there are limitations with existing therapeutic options or no such options exist, particularly with an opportunity to bring products with high value to patients and their caregivers.

 

Monogenic diseases with well-understood biology. Gene therapy is particularly effective when applied to replace a single gene producing a single protein, the function of which is well understood.

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