Hutch News Stories

Hutch research helps launch new genomic medicine company

Ensoma receives $70 million in financing to develop genome modification technologies via a single injection
photo of Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem
Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem, an oncologist who holds the Stephanus Family Endowed Chair for Cell and Gene Therapy Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Research that came out of the lab of Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is providing the genome modification approach that Boston-based Ensoma will develop to bring new treatments to patients facing a wide range of diseases.

Related Information

Ensoma's press release about the launch of the company

Kiem’s research using CRISPR-Cas9 to edit long-lived blood stem cells to reverse the clinical symptoms observed with several blood disorders

Launched today with $70 million in Series A financing, Ensoma has licensed the work of Kiem and Dr. André Lieber, of the University of Washington School of Medicine, who both serve as scientific co-founders.

The therapies will be developed on a platform that is designed to deliver a diverse range of genome-modification technologies directly to hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells or the various cell types that arise from these cells, such as T cells, B cells and myeloid cells. Additionally, the platform can enable therapies optimized to work without the need for stem cell collection or prior conditioning such as chemotherapy, and be delivered via single injection in diverse environments, including outpatient settings and areas where access to sophisticated health care systems may be limited.

Kiem outlined his approach and hopes for his research in a TEDx talk in Seattle in late 2019.

TEDx Seattle

Kiem, an oncologist who holds the Stephanus Family Endowed Chair for Cell and Gene Therapy, has researched blood stem cell transplantation and potential cures for HIV at the Hutch since 1992.

Five years ago, he told the story of his first patient in a gene therapy clinical trial.

Ensoma is the latest of more than 35 companies to either be created by or to license Fred Hutch research over the last 40 years. The Hutch continues to pursue opportunities for its scientific discoveries to be developed into cures that can revolutionize cancer treatment.

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Last Modified, February 11, 2021