ExoVectory is a biotechnology company that develops EXOSOMES as a revolutionary new type of delivery system for (gene) therapeutics. Exosomes are tiny vesicles secreted by cells of the human body with superior properties to travel over long distances, e.g. capable to reach the brain from the blood stream. ExoVectory has unique technology to load exosomes with incredibly powerful gene therapeutics, which opens novel opportunities towards treatment of a variety of diseases.
Our mission is to bring a new type of exosome precision medicines into reality, to treat patients from life-threatening and currently incurable diseases.
ExoVectory is a spin-out from the Erasmus MC, The Netherlands. The company was founded in 2020 by lead investigator Jeroen de Vrij based on his discoveries on a very special type of exosome loading technology. This technology is unique in its kind and allows for highly efficient loading of exosomes with therapeutic DNAs and/or proteins.
The founding team of ExoVectory consists of Jeroen de Vrij (CSO), complemented by business specialists Cees Juffermans and Ernst Ligthart. This team is currently expanded and strengthened and is backed up by a multitude of advisors and ambassadors consisting of scientists, medical doctors and well-known senior biotech entrepreneurs.
Jeroen is a well-recognized expert in the field of gene therapy, exosomes and oncolytic viruses for cancer treatment. After obtaining his PhD (development of oncolytic viruses, 2012, LUMC Leiden), he has become one of the pioneers and world-leaders in the field of exosomes. He strongly believes that exosomes have the potential to serve as new type of therapy for many currently untreatable diseases and has been part of many ground-breaking studies in the exosome field.
Besides his role as CSO in ExoVectory he holds a faculty staff position at the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Dept. of Neurosurgery, has numerous positions in scientific-societal organizations, incl. board member in the Dutch Society for Gene and Cell Therapy, and actively participates in committees and activities to facilitate translation of gene therapies towards the patient.
ExoVectory has unique technology to load exosomes with therapeutic DNA, opening up tremendous opportunities towards novel types of improved gene therapies. With our proprietary Exosome Loading Proteins (ELPs) we can incorporate DNA of up to 30,000 base pairs, thereby outperforming other types of well-known gene therapy vectors, such as adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. With this system we can deliver a diversity of therapeutic DNAs, such as large transgenes or tandem arrays of transgenes. We have also been able to package full-length DNA genomes of oncolytic viruses, which are viruses that specifically kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.
These hybrid EXO-OV particles show increased delivery to tumor cells, improved penetration in tumor masses and are “stealthy”: invisible from pre-existing neutralizing antibodies. In addition, our ELPs also enable highly efficient loading with therapeutic proteins, which is a tremendously valuable add-on to our platform technology. For instance, delivery of antigenic proteins or peptides via exosomes has shown high promises for vaccination purposes, either to protect against infectious diseases or to combat cancer.
We employ state-of-the art production technology (producer cells, purification technology, characterization technology, GMP compatible/clinical-grade), which enables rapid and cost-affordable translation of our exosome products towards the clinic.
We are developing EVY-101 as an exosome therapy for treatment of different types of highly aggressive, metastasizing cancers. Our exosomes have superior capacity to deliver their therapeutic payload: 1) with great efficiency towards metastasized cancer cells, and 2) deep into tumor masses by crossing barriers that normally block therapeutics. The payload of EVY-101 consists of both DNA therapy and protein therapy and has a “multi-mode of action”: it causes the tumor cells to die (while leaving normal cells intact) and simultaneously triggers a strong anti-tumor immune response.
We develop different variants of our EVY-101 to allow for most optimal, personalized cancer therapy. We bring hope towards treatment of a variety of cancers that are currently untreatable, using our exosome precision medicines.
Recent decades have witnessed the birth of revolutionary genome editing tools or “molecular genome scissors”. Although these tools are expected to revolutionize healthcare, opening first-time-ever opportunity to correct many types of genetic diseases, the quest remains to develop delivery systems that can efficiently and safely deliver these tools to the correct cells and tissues. ExoVectory brings in the technology to achieve this, by allowing the packaging of incredibly large and complex editing tools (DNA and/or proteins) into exosomes. In partnership with world-leading entities in the field of gene therapy, both at academia and industry, ExoVectory will revolutionize gene therapy to allow treatment of various currently untreatable and fatal genetic diseases.
ExoVectory has obtained an ErasSupport grant consisting of growth capital and know-how to strengthen its developments on exosome therapies. The grant will be used to perform further studies on the use of exosomes to treat devastating types of cancer.
ExoVectory has obtained the exclusive license from Erasmus MC, NL to further develop and commercialize the exosome loading technology. This includes developments in therapeutic areas including, but not limited to, gene therapy, cancer and vaccines for infectious diseases.