Astellas Executes License Agreement with an Option to Acquire JVS-100 Gene Therapy Program from Juventas
Developed through research at Cleveland Clinic, Juventas Therapeutics, the clinical stage biotechnology company, is a pioneer in non-viral gene therapies. Licensed and spun-out through Cleveland Clinic Innovations, Juventas raised more than $50 million to advance its primary gene therapy candidate JVS-100, from concept through Phase II clinical studies in heart failure and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). The technology proved safe but failed to meet primary efficacy endpoints in both Phase II studies. However, value in the technology remains and founding CEO, Dr. Rahul Aras, seized a unique opportunity. Building off a research collaboration with Dr. Massarat Zutshi (CC Colorectal Surgeon), Astellas, a top 20 pharmaceutical company, optioned Juventas’ gene therapy to explore the treatment of fecal incontinence (FI).
Astellas will complete all necessary studies to advance JVS-100 through Phase II FI trials, after which they will have the right to acquire the technology. The unconventional innovation in repurposing this technology through ongoing co-development with Cleveland Clinic makes it a highlight in the portfolio. Giving new life to a Clinic technology, Juventas has found a way to leverage an asset that was unsuccessful in one field of use, into another high potential application. The technology now has additional opportunity to impact patient care.