Replay unveils eye-focused Eudora, its first of 4 HSV gene therapy companies coming down the line

New gene writing biotech Replay has unveiled its first product company, dubbed Eudora, with plans to launch another three players into the HSV gene therapy arena down the line.

Replay launched in July with $55 million in seed financing and a mission to reprogram biology and author next-generation genomic products. The biotech uses a hub-and-spoke business model, structured so tech development is separate from product development within five different product companies. Three months later, the company has now revealed its first offshoot—Eudora, an HSV gene therapy company targeting inherited retinal diseases.   

Replay plans to form a total of four gene therapy product companies that use its high payload capacity HSV delivery platform, dubbed synHSV. The platform was developed by Joe Glorioso, Ph.D., Eudora co-founder and synHSV senior advisor at Replay. Glorioso believes the platform—which he and a team developed at the University of Pittsburgh and later licensed to Replay—has "the potential to be disruptive to existing viral delivery platforms," he said in an Oct. 31 release.  

The synHSV tech can deliver up to eight times the payload of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, allowing for polygenic gene therapy and the delivery of genes too big for AAV. The Replay team have even bigger ambitions, including working on an HSV vector that can deliver up to 30 times more than an AAV payload.

While the other three product companies will focus on brain, skin and muscle diseases, Eudora will use synHSV to build out an eye disease pipeline, including programs for retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease and Usher syndrome type 1B.

Eudora’s co-founders Vinit Mahajan, M.D., Ph.D., Glorioso, Mark Blumenkranz, M.D., and David Schaffer, Ph.D., are all entrepreneurs, with the latter three having co-founded publicly traded biotechs in the form of Oncorus, Adverum and 4D Molecular Therapeutics, respectively.     

Eudora will be solely financed by Replay, a spokesperson told Fierce Biotech via email.