AmpliPhi punts a synthetic biology partnership with Intrexon


On second thought, AmpliPhi Biosciences isn’t sold on Intrexon’s synthetic biology tech for its anti-infectives after all. Just three days ahead of the third anniversary for their tie-up, the San Diego-based biotech is calling it quits and terminating the pact.

“We thank Intrexon for their financial support dating back to 2013,” said CEO Scott Salka in a statement. “Terminating this exclusive collaboration with Intrexon allows us to take advantage of the rapid advancements being made in the field of synthetic biology and frees us to partner with best-in-class technologies for genetically modifying phages to further improve their ability to conquer pathogenic bacteria resistant to current antibiotics.”

Salka arrived at the company a little less than a year ago.

AmpliPhi has been working on bacteriophages, viruses that are designed to “eat” specific bacteria. In an age of rising resistance to existing antibiotics, it’s a new approach that the biotech hopes can be better targeted than far less discriminating antibiotics.

The end of the deal isn’t likely to have a big impact on Intrexon, which has been furiously ramping up new companies and pacts in recent years in a broad range of R&D fields. Just yesterday Intrexon ramped up two new companies that will take funding from the related Harvest Intrexon Enterprise Fund. The two new companies are:

    •    Relieve Genetics, which will focus on a “breakthrough, non-opioid gene therapy approach for neuropathic pain”; and

    •    Exotech Bio, which will use “a novel exosome-based platform for delivering therapeutic RNA to treat select cancer indications.”

- here's the release